We came together to write this vision after decades of listening to local comments which continue to inform us today. Grassroots opinion is vital.


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  1. why does it take weeks to publish the minutes of a meeting following the agenda, also, it would be interesting to see which way a councillor voted -for/against or abstained

    Paul says: As I understand it there is a procedure where the minutes are produced in draft form but have to go to the the next meeting of that committee to be approved and then they are deemed suitable for publication.

    The way councillors voted are only recorded if a member calls for a recorded vote.

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  2. Its good to be back fighting the election on Thursday May 6th. So much to do in the town.
    Have a look at the shops and so on in the town as many need a good tidy up. As an Independent I can and take it from me I will speak up for all of the town if I get elected.
    I have done it before for over 14 years and the Tories do not frighten or worry me one iota.
    Al that is needed is for the electorate to vote Independent and then watch what happens.

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  3. Hi Paul do you know if pepnco will be shutting down too?

    This story is still unfolding but one has to assume so.

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  4. I have written to the Journal this week expressing my concerns about the library service as well. I am concerned that more and more services are being pushed online and that the pandemic is being used as an excuse to cut services. Hopefully Terry and I can stimulate some debate!

    Thank you. Your letter is a very insightful response which I hope will remind everyone about the importance of our library. I spoke to Terry again about this today. Paul

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    The culture of spying on the British people has proliferated hugely in recent years.
    It is awful. These cameras are even situated in some hospitals to make sure relatives
    visiting patients are fleeced high amounts for the privilege. Anathema to me a former nurse.
    Allowing Waitrose access into Station Road was to turn a blind eye to the potential
    danger to people using , not only Waitrose but the other stores operating in that precinct.

    There is a nice new Co-Op off the Victoria Road area of good standard with safe access free car parking and no cameras. It's next to the new Vets4Pets which I now use due to it''s exemplary standard of duty to care to my dogs.

    Wishing Visionaires a nice summer.


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  6. Hello Visionaires

    A few weeks ago I dropped into the Food Bank depot in Dewey House and had a chat with the ladies helping out there. I was absolutely astonished at the scale of the
    good will /donations from our citizens. It was my first visit as I usually deposit in bins provided around the town.
    I met Cllr Fryer as he canvassed up our way a few weeks ago. He tried to prise out of me as to where I was going to place my vote. Needless to say I kept him guessing. I have to admit to finding Fryer highly amusing.
    I am of the belief that open source government is the only way forwards. Every transaction made with public money properly documented, accounted for - definitive accounts. Full and proper stock -taking of our assets.
    Equally important I believe that local and national government officials should not belong to any secret societies.
    Here endeth the lesson!
    Wishing you a great and happy summer.

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  7. Well once again the Tories have gone against their word. They have always preached the need for unity that would benefit the town and not any political/non-political party. It is not a shock to hear that they ignored a councillor with great planning experience and instead put one of their own who with respect has very little experience/knowledge of planning matters. The only thing I can say is let the Tories act like children and refuse to recognise other councillors. I can recall during my 16 years on the Town Council being overlooked because the Tories were TOLD by their regional office NOT to allow non-Tories to sit in seats of importance such as Town Mayor. I was Deputy Mayor twice but the Tories always stopped my progression and gave the Mayoral seat to less experienced councillors of the Tory breed.

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  8. It would appear that our new Mayor is rather full of his self importance .He wants to waste local tax payers money on people who don't need a big meal just to show how great he is. I thought that as a parish council we shouldn't have a Mayor, cant we go back to having a chairman as we used to have. Alternatively when he is on the first rowing boat have him walk the plank. Seriously is there no way of stopping this arrogance.

    Paul says: What astonishes me is that for the last four years this councillor has regurlay said to me that we should all work together as a team and he is not party political. Once again I was not involved in any way in the decisions that are being taken at the moment. They stopped me enjoying 'buggins turn' which should have seen me become Chairman of the planning advisory committee. Then they stripped me of my role as vice-chairman. Will any Tory councillor see sense or will it now only be 'BLUE buggins turn'?

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  9. Have the Conservatives put something in our water. They have done nothing for this town unless you are part of WCR. The town centre is dying on its feet. Shops closing and re-opening as takeaways, hairdressers and cafes. The Independent councillors were trying to hold them to account but then get washed away at the local elections. This makes no sense at all. So the town will carry on its downward spiral until the population come to there senses.

    Paul says: Feedback showed that everything was going well in the local elections for Independent candidates until the announcement of the General election. A clever move by the Tories.
    I knew after donkey years of campaigning in Wiltshire we were in trouble. There is a phrase I first heard campaigning in Trowbridge in the seventies 'you can put a donkey up in a blue rosette during a general election and they will get elected.'
    As I do not believe in party politics in local councils I will continue to pursue communty politics first and make the public aware of any party political or vested interest activity.
    I do not speak for Paul Batchelor but I believe our hands have been strengthened by the fact that we survived the 'blue tide' that swept the local elections.

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  10. I totally agree that Warminster need a strong Independent group running the Town Council. Without this the town will continue to go down hill. It is sad to see the Market Place and High Street both looking very shabby and uncared for. I point the finger of blame at the Tory led Town Council who are not prepared to stand up against big business and force positive action throughout the town, especially the main streets. God help the town should the Tories keep control of the Council. Good luck to the Independent candidates, Regards, John Syme ex-Warminster Councillor.

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  11. Warminster seems to be losing a lot in the few years that I have been here. It seems that shops are closing on a near monthly basis and are remaining closed. Banks are now the next on the list to close and both buildings (Natwest especially) I cannot see being taken on by any other trade but Pubs or Cafe's.
    The reason stated in the plans for the Poundland site is that New River (owners of the Three Horseshoes Walk) want to change the category from general to restaraunt/takeaway because 1. There isn't enough of them in town (ludicrous suggestion) and it would encourage people to stay on site longer (i.e looking out for themselves), why can't we concentrate on the other parts of town like the shops at the beginning of Market Place or the old Johnsons dry cleaners, or even getting the scaffolded monstrosity fixed rather than be blinkered with Three Horseshoes Walk.
    Also why are independent companies suffering and closing too quick when footfall in the town seems busy enough? I feel that part of it is a fact that unlike Frome and to an extent the main streets in Trowbridge, we have a majority of whitewashed or empty shops and somewhere along the line nobody wants to open a business in this town.
    That needs to change otherwise Three Horseshoes Walk is all we will have left!

    Paul says: You are right. There is no simple answer but immediate steps can be taken. Firstly the town council needs to employ an experienced economic development officer to attract investment. Secondly, we need to look at the success stories in the town like Waitrose and the RACS group. Thirdly we need to ensure that future employment land attracts businesses that pay much higher salaries to increase the spending power that would then be spent in the Market Place. Fourthly we need to find a location for an investment in a leisure activity that would attract the younger generation who have spending power. Unfortunately a Cinema complex is unachievable as Trowbridge has beaten us to that one. There are so many other ideas that we have.

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  12. Hello,
    I have been reading the old messages and came across one from Elsa-Marie Kitching concerning development issues at Grovelands. She s absolutely correct when she says that George Jolley was 100% against any development on the estate especially near his home. I can remember very clearly him complaining strongly about the lack of support from the Tories and how little they did in the area. He is now a Tory Councillor who appears to have forgotten the past planning matters. Why should I bother attitude, as I no longer live in the area. Typical Tory.

    Paul says: It is certainly an interesting point that is being made as we Independents have robustly stood our ground whereas Conservative councillors have been very submissive when facing developers. We definitely need more Independents in the West Ward to put the developers on the back foot and see through the so-called public consultations that they undertake.

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  13. Excellent leaflet and the reports in the Vision ForWarmnster are very enlightening. Thanks and keep up the good work. Our best wishes to all the Independent candidates.

    Paul says: Thank you for your support and challenging us to do something about the blots on the landscape of the town centre.

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  14. Im afraid John Syme is right our councillors seem to sit back and do nothing to rock the boat but still trouser vast sums of money. If they are going to do nothing why do they bother turning up thus saving us money or is it tory policy to make as much as you can while you can a la George Osborne

    SD - replies. Many Tory councillors have received upwards of £50,000 in allowances over the past few years and have claimed additional eye-watering sums for so called special responsibilities, lunches and travel.
    I'm pleased to say that all I have received since 2013 is about 3 free cups of coffee, a small sandwich at an event in Longleat and the occasional glass of tap water at meetings. I think there may be an inverse relationship with the amount you are paid in this role and your utility as a councillor.

    Paul says: We need Wiltshire Council to have councillors who do the role out of a sense of community rather than for financial gain and national party politics. Councillors should get an attendance allowance, travel expenses, and some sustenance if a meeting goes over four hours.

    We also need to scrap the cabinet system and bring back the role of Chief Executive at county hall. The most senior officer role at county hall should not be in the hands of someone with a vested political interest but a civil servant who can give impartial advice.

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  15. Could you please explain the reasoning behind the excessive amount of money given to WCR. Its a small radio station with few listeners there must be better things to spend it on. As for the three abstentions what do they think they were elected for to sit on the fence and do nothing Cannot they see the town needs money spent to improve things.

    Paul says: You will have to ask the six councillors Macfarlane, Ridout, Jolley, Fryer, Humphries and Jeffries why they did not accept our reasonable request to delay.

    I totally agree there must be better things to spend the money on. I am not against giving a grant to WCR.

    Two councillors Davis and Fraser abstained because they had a financial interest in supporting WCR as they use it to promote their business interests.

    Cllr Cullen was the other one to abstain.

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  16. Me again - Thank you for the explanation.
    It is remarkable that we have this means of communicating our views?

    Paul says: It is useful. I still enjoy the face to face chats with those that live in the ward that I represent with Steve and Nick who do the same.

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  17. Does the councils dubious plans for rejuvenating the town include repairing the roads. All the roads in or around the town are full of potholes. Some are even falling apart . If this is a Wiltshire Council problem why cannot our members of that august body chase them up before someone gets hurt or there are claims for vehicle repairs.

    Paul says: I can and have successfully got as a town councillor the county council to repair many minor trip hazards and damage threats but I like you have to rely on county councillors who seem to spend too much time delaying spending on major issues.

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  18. Ref this HOT TOPIC:
    Local Tories' arrogance, bad manners and immaturity(December 12, 2016)

    It has been the misfortune for Warminster Town Council to have some members
    whose behaviour is, to say the least boorish.
    Maybe an idea to remind Chairman Jolley of the time when he and Councilor
    John Syme robustly galvanised support against a proposed development off
    Grovelands Way - Jolley was living at the time in the area , in Woodman's Mead.
    The least Jolley can do is to remember how he felt at that time and consider the
    feelings of those living in the vicinity of Home Farm. Not to do so, in my opinion
    is unworthy of of the office he holds.
    Apologise if I have picked up late on this but we have been beset with the now
    commonplace winter bugs.

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  19. Dear All
    A couple of points.
    No update since early January, Has nothing happened?
    Also I can't help noticing how faded and shabby most of the blue plaques around town have become. It does not look good. Can they be replaced with better quality ones.

    Paul Says: Good point. Added to our wish list for the new municipal year.

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  20. Apropos the continued co-option onto the council of one of our de-selected
    Why does the dicte "Keep your friends close - your enemies closer "come to mind?

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  21. Quickee reply to you sd:
    This mass migration is nothing more than a 'Trojan Horse'
    Regards from

    SD - That sounds even more worrying. We all know what happened to Troy.

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  22. Could you please tell me what is the reason the conservative councillors keep co-opting Tony Nicklin back on to the council. He was thrown out by the electors and doesn't appear to be a genius.
    So why cant they wait for an election to see if the electors want him?

    SD You make a fair point. Only a few weeks to go until nominations - but will there be enough people willing to step up and oppose the Conservatives? If not they could yet again win control even though people would rather have others in charge,

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  23. Hello Visionaires,
    Tonight (Thursday 24th November) I popped into the Rugby Club up Folly Lane
    to the Public Consultation Event regarding the proposed development on land to the south of Victoria Road. I happened on the meeting quite by chance when just going for a walk. People coming back down from the meeting told me it was being held until 7 pm.
    I asked one of the design and planning team why there was so little publicity about the event. Why no posters put up to raise the awareness. Why hadn't a leaflet been put through my door also.
    I was told that 1,000 leaflets had been distributed in the area approximate to the site. 1,000 leaflets distributed in a town
    of approximately 23,000 inhabitants to raise the awareness on such an important issue. Important to all the citizens of our town since those of us already living here are going to have to accommodate the huge increase Persimmon and Redrow Development Companies are proposing. Increase in traffic. Increase in ancillary requirements, etc. I also asked why these large
    development companies didn't buy tracts of land and build new towns rather than tack their developments onto our existing ones. Often ruining the aspects of old rural towns. Ringing them with uniform brick and concrete structures .
    Compressing families into smaller and smaller unit housing with little to no gardens. With densities affording almost no privacy. And turning the artisan charm of such towns into chain store precincts.
    There was answer to my question . Just a coy smile.
    And what about the ancient footpaths and bridleways? What about the mickey mouse drainage fob offs in order to build on soggy land? What about the poor souls who have to suffer from flooding due to increased surface water run off? It goes on and on. And what about the people who paid handsomely for a house with a view over the countryside?
    Only the rich it would appear can have that luxury guaranteed , in mansions and manor houses situated far from the maddening crowd, out in villages where development is never in their back yard.

    Development can only take place with the consent of the people. It is the people who are sovereign. Not the developers. And it is up to our members of parliament to keep that sovereignty enshrined.
    After the meeting I carried on down Broxburn Road and mentioned that there was a meeting to two people I met along the way.
    Interestingly neither knew about the meeting, Neither had leaflets put through their doors.

    With regards to fellow Visionaires

    Sd writes - you raise some interesting points - of course the elephant in the room is the new inward migration figure of 350,000 a year into the UK. Most of the extra burdenis being places on England South of the Thames. Something has to give - and soon.

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  24. I think the reasons for the low turn out in the town plan vote are

    1. A lot of people are not interested in what happens to the town.

    2. A belief that the Council will do what it likes anyway.

    3. There was not enough clear information. It was not very easy to
    make out what the over all plan was.
    I have heard from lots of people who waded through the mass of paperwork from the Council that they couldnt find any specific plans

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  25. Hi guys, my question about the neighbourhood plan wouldn't be why did so many vote against it but why did so many vote for it?
    The final document removed most of the policies that benefited the community such as leisure facilities, protected green spaces, secondary schooling provision, a limit to housing numbers, protected areas to manage flooding etc.
    How do those who voted for this plan expect the town to manage without school places, without floodplain to store flood water ( grovelands) without a traffic plan.
    It is almost as if those who voted for this plan are disconnected from real life, so maybe cllr Ridout, fryer, and the clerk who all promoted this plan can enlighten us on why these Issues were put in the original plan and how by removing all policies related to managing these issues we are now better off?
    The council had the chance to withdraw the plan and get advice on how to rewrite key parts to both protect us and match current county and government guidelines, but chose not to do this, instead simply erasing any policy the examiner wanted to remove, despite legally being able to protect areas needed for flood management as stated in the nppf.
    I personally would like an announcement from Warminster town council on how flooding is being managed and reduced to keep us safe, if you don't prevent development in areas needed for flood management how are you achieving this?
    how they expect everyone to travel across the town once all the new houses are built?
    and where they are going to send the kids who can't attend king down school as it is full.
    The council backed and promoted this plan so they need to elaborate on how schooling, flooding, green spaces and transport are going to be improved now they are no longer managed in the neighbourhood plan.

    SD writes - once the plan was sent to Wilts Council and returned amended we were not offered the chance to amend it again.

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  26. I see from your website that "Police Neighbourhood Tasking Group puts cycling on pavements as the Warminster six-month priority for a crackdown" much as I disagree with adults cycling on the pavement. This appears to be at odds with DfT advice, that as long as people cycle on pavements responsibly, they should not be fined and it is up to the discretion of the relevant Chief Constable. I would like to know what is being done to make the roads around Warminster & area safer for pedestrians and cyclists. I have lost count of the number of close passes by impatient drivers in the town while cycling as well as been tailgated and overtaken on Boreham Road for having the audacity to stick to the 30 mph speed limit. The area around Woodcock Rd, Imber Rd & Copheap Lane is more akin to a race track somedays and I dare say other areas of the town are the same. I have seen numerous complaints from residents in the media and on social media. Yet there appears to be little to no action taken by the authorities to clampdown on the lack of respect for other road users by driver. Surely by making the roads safer, it will encourage more people to cycle on the roads rather than the pavement. The town is congested enough and we should be encouraging more people to leave the car at home and walk or cycle, rather than putting them off from using sustainable transport means. The DfT statistics show that number of people killed or injured by vehicles every year, far out weighs the number of people killed or injured by cyclists on the pavement.

    SD - There's a few saints and sinners in bortjher motoring and cycling camp. I don't approve of cycling on pavements in general but it is particlarly unreasonable during the hours of darkness when the bike is not equipped with lights. Many cyclists in this town don't seem to be able to afford lights. As for motorists, well where to you start? Obviously reduced speed in built up areas would be good and for that a 20 mph limit might go a long way to reducing the problems in parts of the town.

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  27. I only use the Internet at the town library as I am unemployed and in a search somehow you guys Independents on this website came up.
    I have received a polling card about an election of a neighbourhood plan. I have lived in the town for around twenty years. What should I do? You seem to be on the ball with your daily updates.

    Paul says: Next time you are in the library ask for a copy of the summary of the neighbourhood plan that the town council have produced. You can look on the town council website and e-mail councillors including myself for our views. The council itself has to remain neutral.

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  28. Having spoken to family ,friends and colleagues none of them have heard or know about the new neighbourhood plan .How are they and I expect many more in the town know what to vote for so they probably wont bother. Couldnt the council had copies of the proposals delivered to prospective voters after all they wasted money on there magazine. Perhaps less voters means the vote will be in there favour

    SD says - I think these neighbourhood plans were dreamt up by the Cameron government to give the impression that 'localism' whatever that was, had some substance. It was all nonsense. We will be campaigning for a No vote and will let people know why via leaflet (prepared by us at our expense).

    Paul says: The Neighbourhood Plan took too long to complete in Warminster and was overtaken as a result by national planning guidance announcements by Government Ministers.

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  29. Am I to understand that having proposed one neighbourhood plan the council has allowed it to be totally stripped of any actual meaning or protection, removing virtually all community wishes of protected green areas, prevention of development in high risk flood areas, removal of any limiting wording being replaced by "supported" for virtually all proposals?
    The sustainability appraisal for warminster stated a number of houses built in a certain location I.e west urban extension, and due to this the EA, Natural England etc stated impact would be minimal so no further EIA ( environmental impact assessment) or SEA ( larger version of the same) were needed. in addition it stated a SFRA 2 is required covering the whole of Warminster as lack of understanding of flooding means housing cannot be placed safely. The planning inspectorate assessing the core policy highlighted this issue requiring all new developments outside the WUE to address this issue.
    So how can the examiner of the neighbourhood plan state additional houses to the assessed amount can be done and still be sustainable?
    How can flooding be taken into account if you remove all mention of it do no assessment of flood risk across the town and don't protect high risk flood areas?
    How can only sites in west Warminster be eligible for green space protection as the vast majority of the population don't live there?
    Why when the core policy states the neighbourhood plan will define how to manage the schooling shortfall issue does the examiner state this is not something it should be dealing with?
    Throughout the neighbourhood plan the examiner has deleted community wanted safeguards designed to allow the town to grow sustainably, specifically added to clarify the loose and generalised policies in the core strategy which cannot address the needs of individual towns which this plan is meant to. These policies could and should have been rewritten to be effective rather than removed as we now have a Warminster core strategy not a neighbourhood plan.
    I hope the council plans to advertise that the proposed neighbourhood plan is not the one that was advertised and contains none of the protections the old version did and an explanation of why this is better for Warminster having removed vital parts of the plan would be appreciated as the changes have been council approved so this council must agree with them?

    Paul says: I think you are totally on the ball as a member of the public taking an interest which very few others are. Steve has spotted so many of these issues as well as others. Getting better publicity is on the agenda for the meeting on Monday night of the Town Development committee. I suppose the question is 'have we councillors signed off on on the Neighbourhood Plan that we should have?

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  30. It baffels me why this town keeps voting tory?.It seems they have run the town and Wiltshire councils for ever and have overseen the decline of this town. What we need is new thinking to resurect our fortunes and return us to prosperity.

    SD writes - at first sight this would appear to be the case but only 13 per cent of the electorate voted and most of these were postal votes as the polling station was hidden away in the Army camp. Things will be very different next May - particularly in Warminster East and Broadway wards.

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  31. As usual with politics no one listen`s to what the electorate have to say. I for one back Malcolm Mellersh with the 20 mph in copheap lane but is there any point as the police have enough trouble going out and about dealing with anything. I cant remember the last time I saw a police person around warminster except Friday and Saturday nights at kicking out time. I live off of copheap lane and the residents here are fed up with our road being used to get onto westbury road quicker. I personally have nearly been run down and had a few very near misses coming off my drive because of this. Now we have a sign both ends saying access only but no one takes a blind bit of notice including the police. Warminster seems to be a lawless town we need people elected who has the guts to stand up for whats right or wrong.

    Thank you for your support

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  32. Thanks for the word on hospitals. When you're old you only go to hospital to die, so not that bothered. Is it possible to park or garage a car in the middle of town?

    SD - The local authority has a number of car parks - season tickets can be purchased for parking - these cost about £30 a month. Garages are in very short supply.

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  33. Hi
    I hope to move to Warminster in the Autumn. I'm old but not yet dead. What is life like here, is it bustly and busy ? Any advice welcome.

    SD replies - Warminster has many qualities and good points - it is very safe with a very low crime rate and it has a lovely park. BUT any older person thinking of moving here should be aware that we are a long way from the nearest district general hospitals at Bath and Salisbury - unless you have a support network of close friends or family here you could have problems accessing hospitals, especially after Tory councillors axed the hospital hopper bus earlier this year.

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  34. Please do not remove these beautiful trees. They mitigate against high pollution from traffic using the car park and road directly into Morrisons. Further more, they are healthy and an established part of the landscape. If you really want to make Warminster a safer place attend to traffic speeds on sambourne zebra crossing approach as well as the dangerous crossing at the george st farmers hotel roundabout. There will be casualities eventually .....the Ash trees present no such danger!!!1

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  35. Thanks for your reply Steve. We're there any non Conservatives who voted in favour of WCR receiving £50000?

    Paul says - No. I was not there but Cllr. Andrew Davis proposed it, Cllr. Sue Fraser seconded it. Cllr. Keith Humphries for some reason demanded a recorded vote. Then Cllrs. Jolley and Ridout joined them in voting in favour. Steve voted against. Cllr. Paul Batchelor abstained.

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  36. Hi, it's not a surprise that Warminster Town Council voted to give Warminster another £50,000 it was a stupid decision to give them £61,000 previously and there's been every evidence that they are as incompetent and frivolous with our money since then. What would be good though is if you would name and shame both here and in the Journal (as that's still what most actual voters read) those councillors who supported it. Could you also explain why this wasn't a decision for the full council given the size of the commitment, I understand it was decided just by the Finance Committee. Thanks.

    SD replies - the Conservative councillors involved were Keith Humphries, Andrew Davis, Pip Ridout, George Jolley and Sue Fraser. Councillors also heard the views of former councillor Tony Nicklin before the debate. Matters such as this are decided at the finance and assets committee - however a comprehensive root and branch review of how this council is organised is currently under way by VFW councillors and if the Tories lose their majority in May 2017 huge changes will follow.

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  37. What hold has WCR got over our Tory Councillors?. In these times of austerity when every thing has to be seen to be worth the money spent on it how can WCR be worth the expenditure when other services are cut to the bone.this seems very odd to me will we get an explanation from these Councillors why a radio station nobody listens to can be worth this huge amount of our money.
    Why not pay off a part of the mega loan for the civic centre?

    SD - Don't forget the Civic Centre is a huge success. Use of financial smoke and mirrors means that the council charges itself £35,000 to use the benighted building in a bid to make it look successful. The old Assembly Hal was more of a community building hired by local people for social events but today's hire charges mean it is mostly used by commercial hirers for profit seeking reasons. Conservatives are always useful to their money-grabbing friends.

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  38. I am sure the trees in question are covered by a TPO and have been since 2008, I remember seeing plans for WCR to expand, but they could not build out to the side of existing building because of the trees.

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  39. Why should the rate payers of Warminster pay towards a service, that not many listen to. I was disgusted to learn, that WCR charge the Council for use of the public address system for council run events

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  40. I would like to know how many Warminster rate payers, listen to WCR. Before our money is spent on a radio station that charges the Town council to attend events etc on behalf of the town. I could not Believe that Town Council were charged for the PA system for the event to celebrate the Queens jubilee, I bet if a straw poll was taken most rate l payers would say no

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  41. How on earth can WCR warent so much money from the council after all it is a vanity project and hobby for a few people.

    They always seem to have had big donations in the past isn't it time they stood on their own two feet?
    Nobody nows how many listeners they have and what benefit are they to the town . There must be far better things to spend the money on like sorting out the Town Hall for example.

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  42. Your point about another school for the extra children in the proposed development is not the only problem . there isn't enough medical facilities to cope now, your luck if you can see your GP with in a month how long will you have to wait with about another 5500 people.Also there is no hospital not enough care for the elderly . Are these planers living on a different planet to use it makes you weep.

    SD replies - very true. The planners are being pushed by central Gvt who are desperate to boost housing supply as it increases GDP and helps us cope with the population boom. It does little for quality of life or local well-being though.

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  43. Although I Agree to a certain extent with your comments about the Labour Party. The problem with voting to leave the EU is you will end up with a bumbling buffoon called Boris and his right wing cabal in charge of the country. God help us

    SD adds - Perhaps, but we will have the means to remove him if required. I've feeling David Cameron and little George are now dead men walking.
    We will and must regain the ability to control our own land - this issue isn't likely to go away whatever happens on 23 June.

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  44. It is a very bad decision to close the public Park toilets - it will stop people coming to the park and therefore reduce income for the local businesses - if Westbury can keep their toilets why not Warminster-

    Steve replies - I think Wiltshire Council, the owners of the toilets, need to provide some answers. They will open when Warminster takes over on 1 July.

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  45. I did a survey of the Coaches who stop in Warminster, and everyone said that if we did not have Public Toilets, they would not stop in Warminster so the answer Keith is no, and I fear once they go someone else they won't come back, money lost lost in the Town. The action of Wiltshire Council will impact on the Town

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  46. Is Wiltshire Council washing its hands of all public toilets in Wiltshire or is it just Warminster .Will visiting coaches still stop and if so where do they relieve themselves against the wall. Shouldnt the Councillors be looking closer to home for cuts i.e. there vastly over blown expenses and chief execs pay, it looks like our council tax pays for them as we are getting less and less services what a shambles.

    SD adds - Spot on with your expenses comment. Some Wiltshire councillors pull in over £33,000 a year! Town councillors are voluntary and we receive no remuneration as it is see it as a civic duty.
    It isn't only Warminster that is being targeted but Wiltshire Council is a failed council and has been a disaster for the county. It runs a cabinet system where ordinary elected councillors lead a pointless life and have no power whatsoever. Curiously the cabinet system was brought in by Blair and has been fully embraced by power crazy Tories locally.

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  47. Surely a new senior school in the west of Warminster would be better then a split school. If that's not feasible perhaps we should adopt the middle school system where pupils leave at 12. it could be easier perhaps to accommodate one extra class in existing primary schools than trying to accommodate children from seven local schools at Kingdown.

    Paul says: My view is that this is a good idea but it does not address an issue about which these developers are not prepared to engage with us.

    The impact on the amount of traffic generated down West Street, Weymouth Street, and Church Street to get to Kingdown. A secondary school in the west would actually solve that and reduce the traffic that currently exists.

    Half a dozen people have chatted to me about the need of a new secondary school since Steve spoke out about this. Four agree. Two want a seperate six form college.

    Steve adds - a second secondary is the obvious answer. We don't do and never have done sixth form colleges in Wiltshire.

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  48. Re. Swaledale estate. The childrens play area is still not in use. It is still fenced in to prevent use. This has been like this for several years. Can someone kick backsides?

    SD writes - Who do you have in mind?

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  49. To dispense of the Hopper service is a disgraceful decision by the Conservative controlled Wiltshire Council. I live in Mere where public transport is POOR, and so I support those people in Warminster who are campaigning to keep the Hopper. It is simple to dispose of public services when you do not have to use them. I wonder what the Conservative Wiltshire Councillors in Warminster really think and I wonder what pressure they have put on their leaders at the council to retain this very important public service.

    Steve Says. Good to hear from you. I think most run of the mill Conservative councillors in most councils up and down the land are in thrall to the oligarchs and leaders who sit in the cabinets, decide matters and dispense money and power. True democracy will not return until the cabinet system is axed and the council populated by people who want to do the job rather than collect (or need) the cash!
    Wiltshire Council in the words of the late great Terry Thomas is 'an absolute shower'.

    Paul adds: It is good to hear from you. The big thing down your way is the likely loss of the subsidy to ordinary day to day bus services in your area. You need to take a look at the consultation where you will find a lot of routes could be axed around Mere.

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  50. With more and more people losing their Mobility Allowance, resulting in the loss of their car through the scheme, it's even more essential, we keep the Hopper bus.

    Paul says: Thank you for this. Another goverment move that needs our MP to say 'this will not go unchallenged under my watch'.

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  51. With regards to your piece from the Independant journalist trying to find a balanced view can you please explain what that means. If you went to Africa to cover a drought or famine would you try to find those who supported it, this sounds crazy. The point is the government is claiming the process is both beneficial and safe yet they have not produced the data to back this assertion. They have not cited how many wells are required to reach the energy security level, they have not stated what failure rate of wells they find acceptable, or how many spills they calculate will happen over the course of the industries life. There is no measurement for potential impacts should accidents occur and as no industries are 100% safe what failure rate are they working to? The EPA the equivalent to the EA in America stated in their most up to date fracking assessment that due to no before, and after tests, the extent of water contamination could not be accurately stated. They also confirmed that due to no longterm health studies they could not say what the impact of exposure to the fracking process, it's by products or water contamination could be, so health issues are likely to be worse than currently reported and potentially a lot worse.
    So surely the balance would be in reconciling the facts that the process is untested anywhere in the world for long term health issues, yet our government is claiming its regulations can ensure safety, but without knowing the potential issues, chemicals involved and contamination pathways how is this possible?
    I don't think anyone needs to hear the opinion from the pro camp that we might earn money out of this as that is evident by the huge profits earned by other oil industry players, the question that needs answering from the pro camp is what is the actual cost and risk to each individual, the community, the environment and most importantly the planet, as this process is destabilising communities creating conflict which is set to get worse.

    Paul says: As a former journalist to answer your first point it was always incumbent on me to give the other side in layman's terms a chance to respond. If they did not that information was included in the reporting. Readers could then also read into that what they wanted. And the fact that in this case the chance is there locally but so far has not seen anyone come forward is also part of the news about this.

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  52. Many paths and pavements, in Warminster are in a dangerous condition due to weeds growing up, through the Tarmac, where I live in particular where a lot of elderly people walk it's safer to walk in the road then risk tripping on the path.

    Paul says: Thank. Wiltshire Council are bringing back the parish steward scheme again. We are compiling a list of jobs for him to do. This starts in April. If it is really urgent I can show you how to report it using the Wiltshire Council website.

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  53. Interesting article about the Hopper bus being jointly funded by Wiltshire Council and town and parish councils that benefit. I would add a suggestion that if that is popular you go back to the NHS and say we can now reduce the amount needed from you to make this work. Hopefully your suggestion is the way to save the much need Hopper Bus.

    Paul says: Thank you. I will think about that. First we need to see if the cabinet were really serious in trying to find a way to save the Hopper Bus. I await the reply from Baroness Scott with interest.

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  54. It would appear that Wiltshire Councillors are afraid of the people voicing there dismay at the cutting of the hopper bus.
    There is also the probable cutting of bus services,closing of toilet facilities and who knows what else is in the pipeline.
    Im in full agreement with May Law about the Councillors allowances long over due for cutting as messers Cameron & Osborne keep telling us we are in it together so they must take there share of the pain

    SD replies. The cabinet at County Hall is about as open as the Kremlin during the Cold War! The cabinet is all Tory!
    The allowances are way too high. They are set at a level that tends to attract people who need this money during their twilight years rather than high achievers who during their professional careers have been very successful and don't need the money but simply want to do the job out of a sense of duty. A quarter of a century ago County Hall was stuffed with very able people, especially on the Conservative and Liberal Democrat benches. These days many councillors seem to talk like they are County's representatives in the town rather than the town's representative at County Hall. However you could have argued that in the past County Hall was too elitist and the councillors' backgrounds were not broadly based enough. It is a tricky balancing act.

    I didn't stand at the last set of county council elections but if I stand in 2017 I will be perfectly happy to represent Warminster for nothing - and during the campaign inform all the voters exactly how much some Tory councillors have been paid during the previous four years (in some cases this is more than £100,000). People are really shocked when they hear these figures. The allowances total about £2million a year - they should be cut by 50 per cent at least.

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  55. Hopper and now buses. So if someone wants to go to the RUH from Monkton Deverill it is over £15 to town by taxi. £12 by bus return to Bath. Another bus there to the hospital. another bus back. Then another taxi from Warminster to Monkton Deverill over £15. Must be at least £50! How many would be able to afford to do that if it was to visit a loved one daily for a week. Of course if you are Wiltshire Councillor raking in their five figure allowances on top of your day job.....

    Paul says: Well said. I have referred villagers to their parish clerk to obtain paper copies of the consultation if they are not comfortable or cannot do it on-line.

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  56. Sad to read that there are councillors who believe that burglars do not like darkness. The vast majority of burglaries happen during the hours of darkness. How do I know this? I experienced many years dealing with burglaries as a Policeman.

    Paul replies: And Wiltshire Council is strongly following the austeriety programme of the Tory government. They are still saving a few pounds each year on this but where are the cuts to Councillor allowances and expenses was once again said today.

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  57. Having seen the recent floods up north created by huge downpours I would hope this would remind councils of the risks taken when allowing new developments. I would hope that it encouraged them to ensure no developments proceed in the flood plains as this is unnecessary.
    Unfortunately Wiltshire council having wasted thousands of pounds going to court over spurt mead and loosing,and are continuing with their plan to block the floodplain below the town making sure flood risk is raised for everyone and that boreham road is now being used as the floodplain. This goes against both the NPPF guidance of avoiding sites at risk of flooding and the requirement for development to be sustainable.
    This site already causes flooding locally and increases the effects of all flooding up the valley, adding houses, roads, and hundreds of piles into the floodplain will only make this unreversable and worse. Why is this town accepting this increased risk to its future?

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  58. As we appear to be reverting to a urban district council the mayoral chain will be very suitable and not need replacing. As for new robes this will be a waste of money in these austere times ,or is this one up manship if we hadnt wasted thousands on the civic center we could have had the best robes and chain in the county .Shouldnt the council be spending our money on the community rather than fancy trappings .

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  59. Actually a garrison is when two or more different regiments and a brigade command reside in the same location which applies to Warminster.although it is not on the scale of larger Garrisons such as Aldershot Tidworth or Catterick it does fit the criteria of what can be described as a Garrison.

    SD - replies - yes of course though I thought the brigade was based in Bulford. The issue is that Warminster is a market town with a small garrison not a 'garrison town'. The garrison towns grew up from tiny villages to become 'towns' to house the camp followers and meet the supply needs of the camps eg Tidworth. Warminster existed long before the garrison arrived here in 1937 and will be here after it leaves and will thrive - just ask folk in Devizes which has blossomed in the years since the soldiers left in the 1980s.

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  60. Well done to the councilors who voted against fracking . It makes you wonder about the sanity or motives of the ones who voted for it.
    Hopefully one day everyone will see the dangers and ban this practice completely.

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  61. It was the Independent councilors who brought and won the motion on Anti-fracking.
    If you read the Obhama report the Fracking industry admits 150 cases of drinking water contamination by fracking and admits there are probably many more.
    The Government is being dishonest in making assurances of safety then changing regulations and going back on promises to ignore these assurances.
    Wiltshire will gain nothing from Fracking but end up paying for the extra heavy goods traffic on its roads and be left with a legacy of pollution that will last generations.
    Well done the Town council .

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  62. Over 100 people attended the fracking film and Q&A which was informative in more ways than one. It was made clear we are ahead of the curve and if we work hard now this highly risky process can be stopped if the community acts to oppose it. The meeting on Monday 21st sept at 7.00 pm at the civic centre is the ideal opportunity to show the town counci,l and others ,that Warminster is against Fracking ,due to the risk to its drinking waters ,and the risk to farm land and rivers caused when aquifers fill during floods forcing groundwater back up to the surface bringing with it any pollution added during the fracking process potentially poisoning the land and rivers as well as the drinking water.
    This is obviously worst case scenario but nothing can prevent floods and their effects on the movement of ground water so why take the risk?
    Attend the meeting, show your opposition to this process or if in doubt read the EPA report from June 2015 from America showing pollution does happen and despite doing fracking for many years no studies have been done on water quality before and after fracking so the actual impact on drinking water and human health is unknown and are likely to be worse than reported.

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  63. I think your motion to the council about fracking is absolutely justified there are to many unknowns about this .Lets hope the rest of the council agree or we could easily end up with contaminated water that will cost somebody/company a fortune to put right if that is even possible


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  64. If the toilets are closed, then the coaches will not stop in Warminster, the passenger use the cafés and spend in the shops .
    To get the money cut the grant t o WCR I would rather have toilets than chamber music.

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  65. Dear Visionaires,
    It seems to me that Warminster Parish Council is riddled with insouciance. With
    but a few of it's councillors having concern for the greater good of the town and
    it's peoples.
    Elsa-Marie Kitching
    Former Parish Councillor
    Boyton and Corton.

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  66. Warminster "Town" Council, as previously stated, is a parish council and the precept raised shouls be compared with other parish councils. Our spendthrift council, according to figures released by Wiltshire Council, spends 43% of its revenue on sustaining itself. It squanderd £3000+ of our money on its civic lunch this year. There is no statutory requirement for a parish council to exist. A parish council is an optional council. I wonder by what authority our collection of parish pump politicians exist as a council?

    SD - I didn't attend the civic lunch - nor did Paul.

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  67. If Warminster Town Council had a history of offering good governance I would absolutely welcome it managing more of the town's affairs, but it doesn't. Warminster Town Council wastes more of our money, in proportion to it's income, than even Wiltshire Council does. Independent Warminster Town councillors have voted in an increase in Council Tax rather than calling for it to become more efficient, so no, as bad, and as good, as Wiltshire Council is I don't want Warminster Town Council responsible for anything else it would be like giving the bankers the keys to the Exchequer.

    SD replies - you are not alone in your views. We will have a hard job convincing people!
    However the truth, easily accessible for anyone who cares to look, is that Warminster has the lowest market town band D charge in 2015-16. We charge £82 but Westbury charges £86, Wilton £104, Chippenham £152, Bradford £109, Melksham £83, Trowbridge £139, Corsham £137, Malmesbury £163, Devizes £125 and Marlbrorough £149.
    The only ways to reduce the proportion of the expenditure taken up by administration is either to broaden the scope of the council's activities and increase the charge or cut staffing thereby placing significant additional burdens on remaining staff.
    But you can be assured that we will only move forward on major issues if we are sure we command the majority support of townsmen and women.

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  68. I think i'm lucky I visited the recycling centre about two weeks ago ant the workers were handing out flyers with all the opening times on them.
    Yet again the council treats the public with contempt and keeps them in the dark , how many people wont or cant pay the recycling charge go to the centre to deposit there rubbish after work only to find it closed (most people finish work after 4 and as you say weekends are a nightmare) so do they take it home or dump it in a hedge. False economy I think.

    SD - It is particularly silly to have Trowbridge and Warminster closed on the same day.

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  69. I have just read in the Journal that the Town Council, are funding the PA for the Inspire of Warminster event.
    Does that mean the WCR are getting addition money to the grant the Town Council already give them

    SD Replies - The money given to WCR has been part of a three year service agreement deal left over from the previous council. We will obviously be consulting widely before any further deal is negotiated.

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  70. I observe that my last post has yet to see the light of day.

    Paul says: Our apologies. If you can recall what it was please re-submit. Yours was one of two that seem to have re-appeared after a 'glitch'. The last letter of the e-mail adress was missing.

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  71. I do hope people do not have high expectations of Warminster "Town" Council for, in statutory terms it is only a parish council with its responsibilities and authorities clearly set out by statute. Its greatest achievement in recent years seems to been to have saddled the precept payers with the substantial debt to cover the loan taken out to fund Nicklin's Folly. Its other ongoing achievement is to spend 43% (according to Wiltshire Council figures) of the precept we pay on funding its own existence.

    SD adds - You are quite correct in saying that it is a parish council with few duties - but many many powers to use if members see fit (that is also enshrined in law). The question you have to ask yourself as a Warminster parish councillor is - Are you prepared to see important areas of the town such as the park, public conveniences, dog fouling & street cleaning fall to third world standards as Wiltshire Council cuts and cuts or do you want to see a quality town? We are one of the few towns to run a CCTV system but should we close it and have nothing? I don't think so.
    Good judgement shown. Members of the public are very welcome to attend and ask questions.

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  72. Do you know, or can you find out for me, why a brick building is being allowed at the end of Bradley Road up near the livery yard? First there were caravans, then there was a day room, now there seems to be a house going up. Was the land ever bought? When the caravans first appeared Wiltshire Council said that "the matter was being dealt with but they did not know who owned the land". Has it all been sorted out and why is it being allowed? Primrose

    SD - We'll ask some of the Warminster Broadway councillors if they can throw any light on this.

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  73. Hi Paul, you are right in saying that there will always be a demand for small business units, if they are cheap enough, but how many of us have seen new shops, or cafes, open and cringed with fear for them knowing that they are cheap not just because the units are small but because there isn't the footfall to sustain them.

    Paul says: Hi Simon. You are right but I now think there is growing commercial interest in Warminster which could increase the footfall if us 'Young Turks' can add strength to arms!

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  74. I am a member of the planning panel lfor civic voice; the chairman of a Hants CVS, an ex-town councillor and have experience of local politics. so what can i do to help?

    Paul says: I think the first thing you could do is attend town council meetings, observe, and start sharing your views with us.

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  75. , How much long will Chinns Court be a gem?

    Paul says: There is always demand from entrepreneurs for small units to start in. The problem that is needs to be addressed soon is how the Market Place and High Street is seeing the daytime economy decline to be replaced by an increasing night-time bias.

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  76. I am sorry to say that the 'blue voters' on the TC are greatly contributing to the decline of the Town centre here.
    With the proposed opening of ANOTHER takeaway in the main street producing more litter, late night opening and car parking almost on the bus stop, it is a crazy decision.

    Paul says: Thank you. This change of use does nothing to help the daytime footfall in the town centre which would help the few remaining independent retail shops like Batchelors, Cordens, Coates and Parker, David Wiltshire Photography, and so many others.
    It means more closed doors to shoppers. Thank goodness we still have some hidden gens like Chinns Court.
    Next mission for the town council must be to be upbeat about the town.

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  77. I would like to know why the Town Council didn't or wouldn't support the Information Centre and help it to expand it's services as a main asset of the town rather than letting it fade away - was it possibly in order to make the Civic centre not only the HQ for the Town Council but the only Information point in the Town ?
    Margaret broughton

    SD - We will try to see what has happened. Calls for the council to spend money on this centre have to be balanced with future demand for cash - although I know where there is one saving of at least £12,000 a year to be made!

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  78. Why couldn't or wouldn't the Town Council save the Information Centre?

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  79. When I was a Councillor we used to hold surgeries where members of the public could come along with their concerns. I would like to see these reinstated.

    Paul says: We do that in our ward. It is now widely known that every Saturday we Independents meet just after ten at the Rose and Crown for a coffee. We have a steady flow of locals attend.

    I personally do not leave it at that. I actively ride around the ward on my bicycle stopping to talk to people. My 'cycling surgery'!

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  80. Totally agree with you about the unfairness of taxation that isn't based on the ability to pay, to quote your comment on some of the candidates "Presumably they approve of poor people in this country losing out big style as their pockets are picked by indirect taxes ." however the most unfair of these in this country is Council Tax, of which Warminster Town Council's precept, that you voted to increase, is part.

    SD - replies. Mea Culpa ....but people can kick me out in 2017 if I seek re-election. All taxes have their good and bad points of course. Council tax has one particular merit in that it is hard to avoid, though I accept it is unfair it is much better than the old community charge.

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  81. I do hope Traceys campaign against the new road is more fruit full than the one against the civic hall .As we have experianced with that the council ignores puplic opinion and does as it wants.
    By the way where would the put a new fire station or would we no longer need one like the police station and rely on the nearest one.

    SD replies - The parish poll, even though resounding wasn't binding, but the neighbourhood plan needs to be approved at a referendum and that is binding. When they ignored the parish poll the local Tories alienated a huge percentage of Warminster people who they will never forget what happened.

    Paul says: We all now have a chance to turn this into something positive.
    If the town council had got on with this straight away two years before we were electedin 2011 then perhaps we would not be dealing with the disaster that is being imposed on the area to the west of the town.

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  82. Just read your leaflet. Thank you for speaking out about what is going on. Too little in the local papers and when there is it seems to just be so one sided. I have seen you in action. Like your website. I will sign the hopper bus petition. Are you going to hold your own independent public meeting

    SD said - Quite possibly - first we'll hope to get as many as possible attend on Monday so that the ruling group can be informed of the strength of feeling in the town about these issues.

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  83. Glad that you've drawn our attention to the agenda for the Parish Meeting on Monday, it would have been useful if the Town Council's link to the agenda actually worked, it might have encouraged more people to come if it had. By the way the Town Council website's landing page looks a mess, shame tax payers spent £thousands on it.

    SD - Hope to see plenty of townsmen and women there.

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  84. Steve
    It seems to me we have been here before ( ie the civic centre ) the same people forcing their ideas on the town . Will they yet again ignore the public's objections and lumber us with more expensive white elephants?

    Paul says

    We really need to check out the work of the 'Shadow Community Operations Board' which reports to the Wiltshire Council area board and is led by Warminster residents who also have roles with the groups they consult.

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  85. Hi guys, can you explain the process the council are following that prints and produces the neighbourhood plan before reviewing and adopting its conclusions, leaving them no option but to waste the money paid to produce the flyers etc or accept the contents and proceed to public consultation. Without any input.
    I was under the impression that the NPWG worked for the council and if the content of their plan did not match current council / town objectives it should be adjusted accordingly before being sent out for public consultation.
    If the town council is not reviewing the content and guiding the process to achieve a beneficial outcome for the community what role are they playing?

    SD replies - The neighbourhood planning process is pathetic and provides easy opportunities for those with particular 'issues' to highjack the process and produce plans at odds with council policy. in wealthy St Mary Bourne in the Basingstoke District of Hampshire the local parish council has enabled the building of a dozen social houses in the up-market village on exception sites. However some of the hoity-toity new arrivals in the village hate the idea and have taken control of the neighbourhood planning process to oppose the homes plan. The homes already have planning permission. In Warminster we have some crazy ideas floated in our group's plan. The plan is now open for consultation and some of those ideas will be amended after many objections to the idea. The plan is at least now open for public comment although I agree it is very flawed at the moment.

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  86. Steve, Paul,
    Who is controlling what the Journal prints and equally important, what it does not print?????

    Paul: It is a family owned newspaper. Therefore it is independendent of any outside control. It is almost unique now in the UK.

    SD adds - a locally owned newspaper such as the Journal is now rare. The Lymington Times (still broadsheet) and The Newbury Weekly News (they print our Journal) are examples in neighbouring counties. White Horse News in Westbury is also independent and although it isn't a paid for, it has plenty of news.

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  87. Hi steve, I was not clear in my last post, what I ment to say was are those members of the council who took part in the NPWG process, and then voted to keep it secret, are they proud of what they produced and how they have acted?
    I am only too aware that members from the east did not participate ,and in EBRAGS case were actively prevented from participating. I am also acutely aware of the close links between a group of members in the NPWG tying them to each other but not made clear in the notes (W&VDT members). The same group who proposed and promoted the idea of blocking the exit route of all water leaving warminster, by permanently removing floodplain and groundwater storage and flow routes by building at spurt mead despite NPPF guidance requiring a sequential test to be passed, which in the several years and £20,000 of front runner funding was never done. Do I trust the decisions being made by this group having seen their track record of ignoring planning policy and community wishes? No.

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  88. Are warminster town council ashamed of the Neighbourhood Plan they have created?
    There is a required minimum 6 week consultation period for people to comment on the plan and its contents and the only reason I can think of that would make you want to limit the time to the shortest period is to limit the responses. If I had taken several years and a lot of effort to produce a report that claims to help guide the town development for the future I would be desperate to advertise it and get as many people to read it as possible. So why are the town council limiting the consultation period to the smallest one allowed? Community involvement ? I don't think so.
    SD replies - I and the other Warminster east independent councillors have had no input whatsoever in the preparation of this plan. It has been prepared by a committee selected by the former town council and has been chaired by former councillor Nicklin. I am ashamed of certain aspects of the plan. Monday evening's meeting could be interesting. Why not come along?

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  89. I must be bored this morning to bother reading more of the application documents for Warminster's 1200 new homes when in effect it's already been decided to go ahead. Anyway I have bothered to look at one of the documents appertaining to the effect on the already narrow slalom courses in and out of town, ie Bath Road and West Street, that the development will have. Apparently, if you believe it (I don't) not much...

    "The application site will be served by a pervasive network of roads consisting of distributor roads, streets, and shared spaces. Two vehicle accesses are proposed to serve the site, one from the east from the B3414 Bath Road and the other from the south from Victoria Road. These will be linked by a new distributor road that will give the future residents and employees ready access to the A36(T) Warminster Bypass so that they will not be over reliant on using West Street and Bath Road, other than for accessing local facilities and employment in the town.".

    "Other than!" I thought that the arguments were to provide housing, employment, and more business for and to Warminster people and businesses already here, not for the development to be a dormitory for people working and shopping elsewhere.

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  90. Inevitable, given central government's cock-up over immigration control and the break-up of families, but still sad to see the planning application go in to determine access for 1200 new homes, etc, in Warminster. I wonder how many of these will be required to be bungalows, something in desperately short supply and which help keep us ageing folk from needing tax payer funded residential care. I also wonder how building more homes helps us reach the already ridiculously useless targets for climate change, as well as our country's self sufficiency? How about offering tax incentives to encourage multi-generational homes and obligating house builders to build eco homes, something that would actually feed back to costing the land owner who benefits from massive land value hikes?
    SD - replies. I'M no fan of the EU but England would do well to follow continental lifestyles where sometimes three generations are happy to live together. It seems we don't like each other that much!
    You are correct to highlight the rapid ageing of the population - appropriate housing and are services for the baby boomer generation are vital.

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  91. Paul, Steve,
    Is it O.K. to join you this Sat. am ?

    Yes - I'll be there but not until 11am SD

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  92. Hello Visionaires

    The Town Park is a valuable Leisure facility and as such should be preserved at all cost.

    It is not only a meeting place where young mums living in accommodation without gardens
    can take their children, meet and make friends with other mums,
    it is also a meeting place for the Nannies and Grampies to socialise when retired.
    to pass the time of day. 'Take the air' Enjoy a healthy walk around the lake,watch the
    waterfowl, of which there is a rich and varied selection. It's our mini Hyde Park!

    The children's play area is well used. My kids used the paddling pool when it had water in it.

    My children and grandchildren have all been entertained by the cameos in the park.

    Emily Hall whom I nannied for as a baby and pushed round feed the ducks and swans, daily,
    weather permitting loved it so much she never forgot it and went on to fight for it's survival
    some years ago ( Well done Emily , your first Nanny is so proud of you for that XX )

    People walk their dogs there. I haven't seen any tennis played for ages but the courts used to
    be well filled and with many spectators enjoying the sport also.

    The Bandstand - Do bands still use it.? If not , maybe an idea to have a chat with the likes of
    The Bratton Silver Band.

    There used to be a small Tea and Coffee stall also selling ice creams. Maybe an idea to promo
    the rejuvenation of the Town Park, set up a Working Party and re-brand this wonderful place.
    Kingdown Leisure Center used to be just a swimming pool open to all. Now look at it.

    Re-branding of the Warminster Town Park is, in my opinion the way forward. And it is my thought
    that we should give our Councillors supporting this our vote.

    With Regards from

    Posted on

  93. Wiltshire Council will rub their hands with glee to be shot of funding the park and WTC can be relied upon to do as good a job running it as they do with all else (ie forgetting whose money they spend and getting poor value). At least remember that the lake needs tens of thousands of pounds spent on dredging it of silt, bikes, and beer bottles, before WTC takes it on. By the way what's happening with the 'new' cafe building there that was supposed to be funded by developers contribution rather than council tax payers, and which stayed closed throughout last summer because the rent was too high?

    SD replies - Yes all that and more! But as I said no ifs no buts I will be prepared to spend whatever it takes as the park is a huge asset which has to be maintained. Wiltshire Council simply doesn't care. If people don't want to back me on this they can kick me out in 2017 - I'll be very clear about where I stand.
    I will find out about what has been happening with the former tennis club building/café.

    Posted on

  94. Hi Paul and Steve, seeing your post that the council has voted in principle to take over the running of the park can I just check with you that Wiltshire Council would be paying WTC a sufficient sum to cover all costs of running it?

    SD replies - I'm sure there will be a dowry sum but whether it will be sufficient I very much doubt. Most of the cost of running the park in future years will fall on the council tax payers of Warminster. The park was owned and run by the Warminster council (UDC) between 1933 and 1973 until local gvt reorganisation. It was a real gem in those days. I fully support the plan to repatriate the park and will be prepared to agree to fund whatever it takes to keep it in good repair.
    No ifs no buts!

    Posted on

  95. Hello Visionaires,

    Ref: Vandalism in Shopping Malls.

    Having had our property serially vandalised in days gone by I sympathise with people suffering
    from such. Not only is it expensive , replacing, repairing, it is also de-moralising. One feels
    vulnerable , anticipating the next attack.
    Tenant sand Shop-keepers set up a fund and employ some burly Night Guards with a couple
    of Lancashire Heelers ( doughty little dogs with a penchant for nipping heels!).

    Steve regarding Libertarionism: One is only free if one is not confined. Happy New Year 2015.

    Posted on

  96. What we really missed a few years ago when the market place was being updated was the opportunity to put cycle lanes through the town centre,I gather you can cycle on the pavements from the portway end of the avenue all the way to king down school quite legally, and also soon be able to cycle though the Warminster Park.

    Posted on

  97. I am sure the Tenants of the flats in the Mall, would be pleased if the Mall was closed off at night . The shopkeepers who windows are often broken would I am sure, welcome this move

    SD replies: You are probably correct but then why not shut off the whole town centre after 7pm to keep it quiet and save all windows? No it goes against my libertarian streak I'm afraid.

    Posted on

  98. With the National Planning Policy Framework guiding how new development should be handled with the very clear statement that flooding is a key part of the policy and that in the preparation of all plans it must be accounted for, ensuring that development is placed in the least flood risk areas and does not increase flood risk to others, can the town council and Neighbourhood Planning Work Group explain what information they are using regarding flooding, and flood risk in the area? the town council earlier this year claimed not to be holding flood records and the EA flood report for the town back in 2005 recommended much more information was needed including Lidar, flood infrastructure assessment, a Surface Water Management Plan and more accurate flood storage area details in order to safely add more development in the town due to all the flooding incidents without information as to the causes of these floods.
    to my knowledge the required town wide assessments have not been done.
    If going forward flood risk is not clearly and accurately accounted for, won't this mean the plan will be refused as inadequate? Or are the council ignoring flood risk as per usual hoping it will not be mentioned as an issue like the sever flooding last year that conveniently received no press and no action by either the town council, county council or EA.
    To view the extent of flooding on boreham rd check out the bellow links and see if you think it should be ignored.

    I hope both the town council and NPWG are taking flooding seriously in their plans as the effects of not are clearly shown in the videos above and damage to cars, property and potentially people should not be down played by the town council just because it is not happening to them.

    Al w

    Posted on

  99. For the last couple of years wiltshire has been battered by heavy rain causing severe flooding with increasing regularity. The council needed £500.000 extra funds to cope with the damage created last year. With this in mind wiltshire council has finally produced a draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS)almost 5 years after it received responsibility for doing this. The report is meant to highlight the areas at risk and describe how the council is managing the issue and their future plans to control and reduce the problem areas.
    The draft report states that due to lacking flood records not all areas at risk of flooding will be present in the report and as such will not be considered for flood relief investment.
    Luckily there is currently a consultation document on wiltshire.gov for you to comment on the draft LFRMS stating if you agree with their strategy and if you have any suggestions for flood alleviation methods or flood information they have missed that needs adding.
    Warminster ranked in the top end of areas effected by river flooding, was also effected by surface water floods, according to Defra has 1200 properties at risk of flooding and in the floods over Christmas Bishopstrow was third hardest hit in the county for properties flooded at 20.

    Do you think Warminster council should not only be publicising the consultation opportunity on their website to ensure the community can comment on issues effecting them but also be providing information as to when they are going to take the advice of the 2005 flood report created by the ea for the town and produce a surface water flood plan to ensure the flood infrastructure can cope and development will not increase the risk of flooding to others and highlight areas that need upgrading to cope with the higher demand.
    I believe the town council are putting forward the atheneum bid for CIL money of almost £1 million pounds so what excuse is there for not producing a SWMP to help protect the town keeping it open for business and safe for all?

    To read the LFRMS draft document go to :

    To comment on the above or provide flood information go to :

    If you think flooding does not effect you just remember you pay for the roads, EA, council and insurance which all cost more if flooding occurs so more effective spending equals better results for all and less damage.

    Al W

    Hi - Flooding is an issue moving up the agenda and this information is useful. The application for monies for the Ath has been noted by the council as one of many many projects that may be deserving. They certainly shouldn't count their chickens.

    Posted on

  100. There does not appear to be any way of contacting you other than via this option.
    How are contacts updated in your "Usefull names and numbers"?
    I might add that the blue on black is not at all easy to read.

    SD You can contact me via email [email protected]

    We'll look at the colours issue.

    Posted on

  101. Dear Visionaires,

    A former nurse, one who started nurse training within the WRAF , including
    training at PMRAF Hospital Wroughton, then onwards to The Guildford School
    of Nursing (SRN Syllabus) I firmly believe in what we used to call 'cottage hospitals'.
    Hospitals designed to look after the local community. Sadly these have
    mostly disappeared. It is sheer lack of empathy towards the most vulnerable
    members in the community which has led to this. The powers that be have their
    private health care packages and hospitals and thus the rest of us matter not.
    As for charging for hospital car-parking , I find that iniquitous.
    Outpatients at the RUH visiting such as the Fracture Clinic have to pay parking fees.
    And so do visitors to In-Patients. It's so wrong. I can see the day coming when even the Hospices charge for parking.
    Warminster Hospital is such a valuable asset to our community. I haven't visited the hospital
    for a few years but when I did the parking was free. Hopefully it still is.

    We have more than enough flats and houses in this town. The on-going multiple developments are ruining the aspect of the place. If I'd wanted to live in a concrete jungle I'd have bought a
    place in one.
    And lets not forget that just a mile hence we have a small town-like structure drawing on our
    essential services. One which has grown ...to use the latest buzz word ...exponentially.
    Center Parcs has increased it's accommodation and recreational facilities far more than originally depicted at it's PR meeting at St. John's Hall .
    I am of the opinion that Warminster and it's environ has had more than enough "bettering ".
    And that our Town Council should place a moratorium on all commercial and residential
    development for a long long time.

    Wishing you well.

    SD replies - Yes the hospital is one of the few things left after the idiots allowed the cinema, town hall, Crown Post Office, Jobcentre, register office, Minor Injuries Unit, etc etc to close.

    Paul adds - I agree to your sentiments about housing overdevelopment. Ever since the core strategy was launched over 5 years ago we have made the case that employment and community land should come first and when that is successful then we can cope with more housing. This has been agreed by Wiltshire Council spatial planners and the Core Strategy planning inspector did not ask them to look at this again.

    Posted on

  102. When I was Mayor I saw plans for Warminster Hospital to be turned into Flats and a few houses. One of the reasons given at the time was to why it would not get planning permission was vehicular access. If Cllr R Fryer get a rd there then who knows perhaps the plans will come out of moth balls

    SD Adds- That could be a hidden agenda. Thanks for alerting us to that.

    Posted on

  103. Hi Steve
    As a man in the know could you please explane how it appears some Wiltshire Councillors are claiming more in expences (sic) than most people in the area earn for a normal job . If they claimed less could we then get our potholes mended.

    SD replies - These are allowances rather than pure expenses. The rates are set by an independent panel and then approved by councillors. I can say here and now that if I was an elected county hall member, especially someone receiving a state pension, then I certainly wouldn't claim the full amount. You can draw your own conclusions. Very soon we may start producing leaflets to circulate across the town point out these things.

    Posted on

  104. When I clicked onto Mical John , your last contributer to this page I was interested to see it was a link to a Pay Day Loan Company. Would the editors of Vision
    For Warminster please advise as clearly this is blatant advertising .
    Elsa-Marie Kitching

    Well spotted - his email address didn't show this. Has now been deleted. Steve

    Posted on

  105. Hello,

    It is Elsa-Marie and i cannot fathom out what is lacking in peoples lives that they
    feel the need to keep remembering those two monumental atrocities inflicted
    on our planet - WW1 and WW2. What is the fascination? The only ones to benefit
    from these monstrosities were the architects of them.

    One of the worst aspects of WW1 was the nefarious enlistment campaign set up
    by Emmuska, Baroness Orczy.

    Hungarian -born Orczy was married to an Englishman and sought to ingratiate
    herself into English High Society by using a copy-cat system of recruitment as
    depicted by the author AEW Mason in his novel The Four Feathers. Ergo anybody
    not signing up suffered harassment , labeled a coward and sent White Feathers
    through the post - anonymously.

    Baroness Orczy was the author of The Scarlet Pimpernel. A swash-buckling ,
    derring-do tale put together by a narcissistic fantasist.

    The Orczy campaign received full governmental and media backing and young
    men were coerced into a death trap , the architects of which eventually went
    on to scoop up the spoils of war and set up one of the most evil treaties ever,
    The Treaty of Versailles which carved up Germany and rendered the proud German
    peoples into little more than slaves to the Allies who bickered like vultures on a carcass.

    It is my thought that we should give a swerve on WW1 and concentrate instead on
    what is going on in plain sight - the drive towards WW3 which will be far more
    reductive than the past two wars.

    With Regards ,
    Elsa-Marie Kitching.

    Posted on

  106. A friend of mine told me the other day they needed an x-ray , but they had to go out of town as Warminster hospital had closed its x-ray department is this another nail in this towns coffin . Why is everything closing down or moving out of town ie police station a&e department would the last person to leave please turn out the lights

    Posted on

  107. The Wiltshire councillor, who cast the determining vote in favour of the Boreham Mill housing development at a recent meeting of the Western Area Planning Committee, is MAGNUS MACDONALD, member (Liberal Democrat) for Winsley and Westwood. Mr Macdonald, a director of Selwood Housing, is alleged by The Warminster Journal (9 June 2014) not to have declared an interest at this meeting in view of Selwood Housing's putative relationship with HAB Housing and HPH Ltd, who have proposed this development. By not apparently declaring this interest Mr Macdonald may be in breach of sections 2, 6 and 12 of the County Council's Code of Conduct, which relate specifically to declarations of interest by members. Complaints against individual councillors may be made following the procedure outlined in http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council/complaints /membercomplaints.htm

    Paul sdays: Thank you for that. I am of the same view having actually seen what went on. I have made a formal complaint against Cllr. Macdonald (no relation).

    Posted on

  108. The reason I don't attend council meeting is because I cant hear what is being said. Mic would be a great help.

    Paul says: I cannot support £15,000 on microphones when we only have £9,000 left out of half-million budget to support local good causes tonight.

    The answer is to ensure that councillors do not speak with their backs to the public seats and press benches.

    We have a microphone system. Let's hope we can get that to work. I think it was supplied as part of the service level agreement with WCR.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Posted on

  109. Hi, I would like to know how much I can trust a local council who steps outside of the rules and regulations to push through planning decisions which are clearly unsustainable and destructive.

    Spurt mead should be a tranquil water meadow holding excess river water and surface water from the two roads when flooding occurs keeping the properties and road both dry and safe.

    Due to council co-operation in the sixties contaminated soil and building material was placed right across the flood plain removing the storage ability and forcing water round the site and onto the road.

    Now most people who cause damage to surrounding properties would be charged and forced to remedy the situation by removing the cause of the issue, but not this site.

    No the council having decided we don't need to hold flooding records.
    Then because there are none they can now say as there are no records of flooding here so it is safe to build because obviously we don't need the floodplain anymore.

    All residents of Warminster are aware of regular flooding at Boreham roundabout but as long as there are no official records the council can proceed saying we did not know despite placing this site on their flood plan for Warminster ( and it really is where they intend to flood Warminster as there are no plans in place to reduce or combat the reasons for flooding)

    If you want more floods and believe it's just tough that people live near the river then fine but just remember the main entrance to Warminster uses this route as well as the emergency services and once it is flooded it is impassable to most and dangerous to everyone.

    Please don't take my word for it ask your town or county councillor to show you what they are doing to protect you and the town from flooding and you will find they have not spent any money on flooding or planning to reduce future flooding for the last 5 years.

    Please show the council you don't want increased risk by building in the flood plain and sign the online petition to stop the development of spurt mead on www.gopetition.


    Paul says: My reply will follow shortly but your sentiments have already been expressed by me at a meeting in Pewsey a little while ago.

    Posted on

  110. In regards to the Spurt Mead planning, Many thanks for having such a meeting at such a fantastic time that many of us with children and jobs were unable to attend to voice our protest to this build!

    I am hoping and praying that sense was seen and this plan to build on this historic and natural area will not go ahead.

    SD Replies - Sadly your prayers are falling on deaf ears. It is very apparent to me that decisions are being led across Warminster by those who were elected unopposed at recent elections or elected against very limited opposition. These people are very out of touch with local opinion and just don't seem to care - we've seen it with so many issues. We really need local people to come forward to contest election so that the people's voice can be heard - rather than the oligarchs who have dominated for so long.
    I'm also worried about the influence of totally out of touch local quangos led by people who have no real grounding or support in the town - I'm thinking in particular of the Warminster and Villages Community Partnership etc.

    Paul adds: I was appalled at what I saw occur at that meeting. I will take this further.

    Posted on

  111. Hello,

    It strikes me that for most people in Warminster local issues are too far removed from their busy daily routine and so 'people power' fails to manifest. Pertinent information is only available to those who have the energy to seek it out. Also there are so many channels of communication that you cannot hope to reach a critical mass.

    It occurred to me that a digital community noticeboard in a central location could help to engage the towns folk with local issues.

    N.B. a central location would be The Mall/Market Place. Not the car park.

    Posted on

  112. I have heard that Town Treasures is to close soon is this true would be a shame if it did

    SD - I have heard the same. Sadly the effective demand in Warminster is low as there are few well paid jobs and at the same time rents/mortgages are too high.
    Chambers and Co, which sold quality clothing, has also closed.

    Posted on

  113. For some time now the Residents of Ridgeway and Ridgeway Court have been trying to get the parking problem's resolved We all know that anyone with a taxed motor can park on any high way. But surly not on junction's and narrow Roads yesterday a Ambulance could not get into Ridgeway Court and parked in the mason Carpark and the Parmedic run up to the house
    Please will some one help us to get this sorted

    Posted on

  114. Thank You Paul.

    Bearing in mind the anger generated by the neglect of the stately building
    at the top of Weymouth Street , I think a suitable temporary name for it would be

    Paul says: It is good to see it alive again.

    I always thought in the past it should be re-named with a big sign 'Down Fall Town Hall' in capital letters.

    Underneath would be a inscription 'We have no civic pride Warminster Councillors'.

    The first floor is now being used again by the community. Decades of neglect and irresponsible ownership will not be corrected overnight but we will still work for a positive future.

    Posted on

  115. Paul I contacted you a couple of weeks ago regard the proposed Redrow build on the field to the back of St Andrews Road. can you contact me on the above email address as I would like some advice.

    Thank Sandra

    Posted on

  116. Dear Visionaires,

    One of the "cuckoo tones" issued by councillors in charge of planning is
    "the issues have been addressed".

    Issues such as the consequences of building on flood plains.And those of the problems which pose a threat
    from insensitive density. To the irresponsible incursion into the Green Belt - all are 'addressible'
    according to the cuckoos on our councils.

    The fact that councillors responsible for the go-ahead on unsuitable land do not themselves live in dwellings erected on such land speaks volumes.

    Councillors responsible for giving the green light to the placement of a busy supermarket which you have to enter and exit through a small space into a busy road (Waitrose in Station Road) are responsible for the dangerous congestion in that area. I am of the opinion that is an example of seriously bad planning.

    We did not need another supermarket. Certainly not one designed to cream off the 'A' consumer
    demographic from the existing ones.

    The marching in of retail groups has all but destroyed centuries of shop-keeping skills.

    Aggressive marketing and malfeasance by some of these groups is destroying the fabric of our towns and cities.

    As is the concreting over of large tracts of countryside.

    The farmers on the Somerset levels don't want to be shoved into little red boxes with postage stamp sized gardens. They are part of the heritage of this land.

    Their skills extant for centuries should be conserved.

    Many of them owe hundreds of thousands of pounds to their Banks. They could fetch up with un-saleable
    properties and land and with no income with which to repay their loans.
    It is a complete nightmare.

    With Regards from

    Your Own Correspondent!

    Elsa-Marie Kitching.

    Paul says: This reflects so many comments I receive daily.

    Posted on

  117. A StAR problem on the Broadway estate!

    Are you aware of the planned Redrow development to the west of Saint Andrews Road on the Broadway estate?

    We've been told to expect upwards of 200 cars accessing the new estate of 220 'dwellings' via our small cud-de-sacs!

    At the moment a single dust cart blocks our street and the adjacent Broxbourne Road, Thornhill Road & Shelley Road as it makes it's way around Broadway estate. This will only be exacerbated by the addition of a further 220 rubbish bins to collect.

    This seems crazy to me when access from Victoria Road is far more feasible and preferable as a an access for the A36.

    I've not even touched on the safety issues for children & the elderly or the concerns over 'run off' from the new estate.

    Finally, do we have sufficient doctors, dentists & school places for these and subsequent additional housing planned further up the Victoria Road.

    I'd be keen to understand your views & advice.



    Paul replies: Thank you for these comments. As a councillor in the 1990s working along with Cllr. John Syme we saw the setting up a rural buffer zone around this side of town that protected this area from development.

    Two decades later I believe the same arguments are true. I am on your side and will be there for you when you need to count on me. You need to lobby your county councillor Keith Humphries and your town councillors Paul Batchelor, Keith Humphries, Jamie Cullen and George Jolley strongly.

    Their contact details can easily be found by a google search for Warminster Town Council.

    Posted on

  118. Thank you vision for Warminster for my wake up call.

    After many years of excuses, I'm young, its for the oldies to sort out, and the classic, Ah someone else will surely be complaining so I don't need to do it I have realised I do. I love my little town just the way it is and I will protest, stomp my feet, and make myself heard in order to protect what we have.

    Paul says: Thanks for the support. Our approach has always been to keep all that is good about Warminster and improve that which is not.

    Posted on

  119. I really appreciate your action in organising a tree-hugging at the place in your town where developers want to build on a water meadow.
    Flood plains are the talk of many in the government but is it them who have unleashed a planning free-for-all on communities all over the country.
    There is a presumption now so strongly in favour of developers to ride roughshod over commonsense and well established policies.
    Do you have any advice on the next way forward?

    Paul says: Look to your local councillors to stand up and be counted. Here I have insisted that our next town council meeting with the MP has this planning crisis on the agenda. Make sure that you use established planning policies to back up your case.

    Posted on

  120. Thank you for standing up for the residents of Boreham and Bishopstrow and the best interests of the overall majority of the town Twice in the last couple of years.

    Thank you Paul for listening to me let off a lot of steam the other day when I ignored the polite hint that you had decided to have a few days off to reflect on what was going on.

    I have reflected on your response and have now read your Vision for Warminster.

    I have also reflected on your complete show of loyalty to councillor Cullen.
    Hope he appreciates it.

    But I have found his election leaflet. I quote from it!

    'I am looking forward to giving you a fresh voice supporting those involved in restoring the Town Hall and flocking to join the East Boreham Residents Action Group.'

    Must be a record for breaking an election pledge so quickly.

    Good luck and do not forget you have the support of so many locals all over town.

    Paul says: Thank you. We want to take your views on board and then represent them. Jamie in a response to an earlier comment would like you to get in touch with him directly.

    Posted on

  121. Hi! Give us a clue! Do You really think that after what a councillor that wss elected supporting your ticket did what he did about your vision for Warminster should you not just accept you are just a couple of has-beens or those who cannot count agree with with bean counters? There is nothing special about your town.

    SD replies - I think we are too young to be has-been! Whether or not we are doing a good job will be decided in 2017 but last year, if nothing else, we were prepared to stand for election and give as many Warminster people a choice at the election as we could.
    But we are not a political party so if someone who stood as an independent takes another view, and thinks he is making the right choice, then that is a matter for him.
    Every town is special and Warminster has great potential - our job is to try to bring out that potential for the benefit of all. Bean counters are there to frustrate us!

    Posted on

  122. I attended the (town council) planning committee meeting on Jan 13, and was so horrified I wrote a poem which I called An Upper Wylye Fairy Tale.

    This is obviously not for putting on your website as a "Comment."

    Paul says: Why not Leo! We have had submissions from the Bard of Boreham as well as the Minstrel of Minster which are a well appreciated form of comment. I could not find a way to read it on your website but as a fellow visionary for warminster told me I am a technophobe!

    Posted on

  123. Dear Steve & Paul
    I would like to write to the County Council concerning the planning application for Boreham Meadow, but on looking at the Council's web site the do not recognise the planning application number you have supplied. Why is this?

    SD replies - We will check up on this and get back ASAP.

    Paul says: Apologies. Correct reference number now available. This is important to any one who lodged their comments on previous application(s). They need to be lodged again even though the principles involved have not changed.

    Posted on

  124. I have only lived in Warminster for seven years. I arrived at the same time I think that you started your website. This is the second time that I have heard so much talk about what the town council is up to at the school gates. I apologies I found you on visioforwarminster by a fluke back then.. I was then thinking how to vote last year, I was told that a candidate was standing for you guy s and I voted for him like Rae. Is he still on board?

    Paul replies: Interesting question that you ask as you conclude your comment. Jamie has an independent mind which we encourage. He has listened to the arguments from both sides. On an important issue so far he has voted one way supporting the vfw view that we published and then the other way. On another he has taken another differing view. But we can still sit down once a week and enjoy a frank and open exchange of views. Reminds me of when vfw started and it was just Steve and I!

    Difference now is that obviously the public are relying on us a lot more now.

    Posted on

  125. Well done Jamie. I voted for you to send a message to the tory elite and their leader that their decisions had been wrong so many times. And you now have shown that you have not understood that as our councillor you are there to represent the residents of our town. Not developers, not central government, nor those who have made so many mistakes over the previous six years. You should have respected the unanimous decision of the ward councillors in that Boreham meadow should not be built on just as I would expect Steve, Nick, Paul and Andrew in the East ward to respect a unanimous decision made in our ward. What is the point of having local councillors for areas of the town.
    How will you vote on behalf of St.Andrews Road residents who face hundreds of homes next door on land that is DEFINITELY not in the flood plain? And has been stopped before.

    Paul replies: Jamie is an Independent but all the points you make are quite true. I will ask Jamie to respond.

    Jamie responded: Please would you contact me directly. I would prefer this approach.

    Posted on

  126. I agree with your sentiments. But I think that a lot
    of people feel they are unable to put up for
    election because they have no idea of that which is entailed. It is my thought that, were there some information available on what one's duties are when elected more people would come forward. One doesn't require an 'ology to put up.

    Unfortunately when one has a bully on the Council , meetings can become stressful.

    Having sat on The Boyton and Corton Council I learned that argument augmented with wit is to be desired rather than argument which is blunt, boorish ; suffused with vitriol.

    Happy New Year To All Visionaires. Elsa-Marie Kitching.

    Paul Agrees: Happy new year to you! There are two types of councillor. Those who think that once elected you have put them there to take decisions on your behalf. I am the other sort. I have been elected to listen to local opinion and represent it.

    In a few words County councillors have lots of duties but few powers outside of those duties. They are dictated by central government.

    Town councillors have a few duties but a lot of powers if that makes sense.

    A town councillor can propose providing allotments (A) all the way through to providing Zimmer frames (Z) for hire! It is within their power.

    Both types of councillor 'serve' you for four years.

    Posted on

    The Athenaeum has undergone re-branding
    as well as the Assembly Rooms. Its new
    I say, how ...declasse !

    Those responsible for planning our town
    these days appear to have all their taste in
    their mouths!

    Imagine the uproar should anybody attempt
    to downgrade The Athenaeum in Pall Mall by
    adding Centre to it's original title.

    Elsa-Marie Kitching.

    SD responds - No surprise but unless more people come forward to contest elections we can't do very much to halt the onward march of Nicklinism. When we try people are too scared to confront him even when he shouts out boorish things at Council meetings.

    Paul adds - I am so encouraged by the people of Warminster. Keep coming forward with your views, ideas and knowledge. Toryism and Tonyism and dare I say it Cronyism is now being looked at.

    Posted on

  128. I think its about time an outside body investigated the appalling behaviour of the tory majority on Warminster Council. Not satisfied with ignoring the wishes of the electorate they co-opt the discredited ex mayor who showed his true personality by heckling at the council meeting. How long can we go on like this.

    Paul replies: Upon reflection Steve has decided not to take the co-option issue any further. I am still listening to public opinion at the moment. Thank you for your view.

    Posted on

  129. I voted for Jamie. It felt like it was a real vote for the first time. I really wanted to support you. I also wanted to say a big no to those Tories who did not stop the promise at the parish poll to accept the vote being betrayed by them. You are going to have a rough ride but stick to it. You are now in there. Do not join the club as that will see you classed as the same as them. Good luck!

    Paul says: Those sentiments are repeated time after time. We will do everything as open to public view as possible. Jamie has been a really good addition to the town council.

    Posted on

  130. Wow! What a fantastic turnout by the people of Warminster last night to hear the debate on the proposed development at Dorothy Walk. May we ( Save Dorothy Walk Campaigners) , through your web site, thank everyone who attended and supported our objections, especially the Planning committee who have backed us 100% and voted to refuse the plan. It was a great show of the town coming together.

    Posted on

  131. Dear Visionaires,

    Just one more epistle for now, then bowing out as
    I do not want to overdo myself!

    Mr Bohana's response to my appraisal of Cllr
    Dancey was, in my view a clear indication of how
    difficult a personality he could be to work with.
    His letter lacked diplomacy. His comments
    were not prefixed with "I am of the view" or
    "in my opinion".
    He bulldozed his views through in a manner which
    was patronising, pompous,
    leading one to believe that he would
    deem other people's views as having no validity.

    The following is for the attention of: MR L BOHANA

    Mr Bohana, may I respectfully suggest that you
    take a course in communication because,
    in my opinion, you could find that helpful.

    I feel that people only grow up when they learn
    that having empathy and respect with and for
    their fellows are desirable qualities.

    I did not comment on Cllr Dancey's actions
    because I was not at the meeting to
    witness what provocation Cllr Dancey might
    have been subjected to.

    Whilst you found his actions to be appalling
    I did not.
    Politicians leave the chamber as a form of
    protest. It is not illegal to do so.

    I am of the view that there was no need to
    invoke a WW1 historian to advise on that
    subject. There are brilliant websites from
    which one can become well informed and,
    garner more than just one perspective.

    Finally, Mr Bohana as a student of WW1 I
    you will know of THE FOURTEEN POINTS
    Woodrow Wilson , President of The USA brought
    to The American Congress at the end of the war.

    The First Point states:

    I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at,
    after which there shall be
    no private international understandings
    of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always
    frankly and in the public view.

    From Elsa-Marie Kitching .

    Posted on

  132. Thanks for your reply Steve - hang onto that
    high viz jacket!

    Regarding the Town Hall....I think you will find that the Assembly Rooms were a quicker
    financial turnround. THe Town Hall is a more
    complicated project. I worked for eight years
    for Countess de Brye who was a Magistrate
    presciding at the Town Hall. Nice lady who
    lived in one of the most beautifully appointed
    Manor Houses in England - Boyton Manor, once home to Prince Leopold.

    Somebody somewhere will hope to benefit from
    the re-furbishment - watch that space !

    Cllr Rideout and I have been friends for many years since she was Ms.McGee and I was Ms
    Burberry !! It is my thought that reading text is not one of her strong points - hence her muddled response to my letter.....I don't think it was a case of deliberate obfuscation - she is honest and true to her beliefs unlike some of the trimmers we could but won't name!
    Bye For Now, Regards, Elsa-Marie.

    Posted on

  133. Dear Fellow Visionaries

    The councilors who voted Nicklin through the back door now have their reputations mired. Some of them might even lose business because of
    this, with townspeople opting to shop elsewhere.

    Nicklin mentioned in the WJ that he brokered the Dents-Waitrose relocation deal. (Brokers charge commission on their transactions.)

    He swerves on the Assembly Rooms. Did he broker this deal also?

    Certainly we should demand more transparency. Demand to know how the Assembly Rooms Loan Requirements were met.

    Who was awarded the contracts to supply the fixtures, fittings and flooring for the refurbishment and for how much.

    Who tendered for them. And why was the name changed to one conjuring up low empathy - THE CIVIC CENTRE.......

    As we are in a state of Quantitive Easing maybe the Town Councilors could use the money they would normally spend on their lavish
    Christmas Dinner on buying items for the Warminster Food Bank.

    Bye for now,

    SD Writes - many thanks for your support and questions. I can never fully understand why some councillors wanted to spend so much of our money on the horrible assembly rooms when there was an important historic building in the heart of the town in need of attention - and still in need of attention. People will never forgive them.

    Posted on

  134. Since Tony Nicklin has paid little attention to the wishes of the Townspeople in the past i.e.
    1.going against the result of the Parish Poll which would have returned the Town Hall to the people of Warminster.

    2. Ignoring the fact that he was NOT voted onto the Council in May,13, but still managed to get 'his friends' to co-opt him onto the Town Development Committee.
    It is a sad day for the Town when this sort of manipulation is allowed.

    Posted on

  135. What has happened to the rules about declaring an interest if the public view would be that you were helping out a colleague or a close friend or a relative. I am gobsmacked that nobody thought to have a quiet word pointing out how this would appear to anyone with commonsense. I was lucky enough to have a vote to elect new faces to the town. Those who did not face that test need to wake up to the message we sent. My only concern is that your understandable actions by those who have not paying attention may be seen as a fit of petulance because you are not changing the way things have almost always been done in Warminster. Keep up the good work!

    SD adds. I raised this very issue at the start of the meeting. But Andrew Davis said he was happy what was about to happen was in accord with the letter of the rules (though clearly not in spirit).

    Posted on

  136. I've just returned from holiday and was totally amazed at the cronyism that is going on in our local council. How can someone completely rejected by the electorate at the last election be co-opted on to a committee. Its no wonder people don't trust the council or turn out at elections when there views are ignored. I wonder if he has another white elephant in mind to foist upon the town.

    Posted on

  137. Words fail me about the non-elected member back on the town development committee. Democracy in Warminster obviously died a long time ago.I am ashamed to be living in this town.

    SD adds - the amazing thing is that he was given the role by two people who had not been selected by the electorate as they were elected unopposed. In fact Tony may have been the person who approved them as candidates!!!

    Posted on

  138. Paul and Steve,
    Following the very good news on the Town Hall,
    would it be possible to have an open meeting to obtain ideas for the public use of the building or will this be sorted by the Civic Trust?


    SD replies - Yes there is good news but we are not in possession of the building yet. There are still some legal hoops to jump through - though for the first time I do believe we are likely to get hold of the building. There are only six trustees (I am one) and we will need the continued help, support and ideas of the public to enable the building to reach its full potential.
    Ultimately we will succeed as we have the overwhelming support of the public.

    Posted on

  139. I was told, that Bodmens could no longer, afford to run the bus service.
    Wiltshire Council only pay £1 subsidy for every bus pass users and nearly all the passenger, on the buses have passes

    SD replies - that may well be the case. The fact remains though that the cost to the end users has rocketed and WC should be trying harder to ensure greater use. The first service of the day (6.30am) was always standing room only on reaching Salisbury - passes not allowed before 9am of course. You may not have used that service though!!!

    Posted on

  140. Dear Steve & Paul
    I know it is your long term aim to sort out the Town Hall.
    However,short term can The Council not find funds to keep the exterior looking decent. Particularly the faded bits of bunting and flags, plus of course doing more to keep pigeons away and the steps & porch clean.

    David Miller

    Steve replies - My view is that the county council should use its powers to force the owner of the building to do this work. It is no longer a faceless bank that owns the town hall but a 'businessman' in Bristol who hopes to use the building to enrich himself. As a trustee of the Warminster Preservation Trust I can't say too much at the moment however as negotiations are at a delicate state and some matters are in need of a definitive legal opinion.
    Hope you are well!!!

    Posted on

  141. Hi Paul.

    Nice properly meeting you at the St John's Fete on Saturday.

    Would you be able to email the photos you took of me at the PA system to me?

    Thanks and keep up the good work..


    Paul. It was good to meet you as well. Photographs will be sent to you shortly.

    Posted on

  142. I was astonished and maybe even alarmed when I overheard that a mayor called for the 'eradication' of all action groups at a town council meeting. Did you hear it or is it just another exaggeration? Was it in the heat of the moment and they meant to use another word?

    Paul writes: It is important that it is made quite clear that it was not the current Mayor Paul Batchelor. A member of the public (and a former councillor) addressing the council at a meeting during the three minutes allowed to residents said it. I heard this. The town plan working group was the subject of the resident's attention at the time. I have checked with Cllr. Nick Dombkowski who attended the meeting. He heard it as well. I have also asked an 'action group' member who also spoke during that part of the meeting. Do be astonished but do not be alarmed.

    Posted on

  143. Hi Paul and Steve.
    The debate held about the NDO was an excellent example how committed councillors represent their electorate. It is obviously a difficult time, bearing in mind the intentions of developers across the town, Returning to the NDO debate I note that Councillor Jolly was in support of the proposals. It is clear to me that he has changed his mind about the development of meadows etc. When he resided on the Grovelands Estate he was a member of the group set up by me to protect the open meadowland at Grovelands. I wonder when his views are now that he has moved home.
    Keep up the excellent work. I am so proud of my old friends.
    John @ Mere

    Paul writes: What is so good about the town council now is that open debate can lead to councillors listening to each other and then voting having considered the points made.

    Posted on

  144. Re the Red Phone Box - as these will all eventually disappear from towns maybe we should ask BT to move it to the town park ( at no cost to the town) where it can be a lasting memory?

    SD writes - not all will disappear as some have been bought for £1 and BT will still have a few operational ones for years to come. But yes sadly most will go as a result of the mobile phone. I'm afraid councils have more pressing priorities.

    Posted on

  145. Local democracy is still alive! Last night's decision by WTC to withdraw from the Boreham Road NDO was brilliantly led by the new independent councillors Steve Dancey and Paul Macdonald. The result has been welcomed by the residents of Bishopstrow and shows the value of local protest and organisation. However, there may still be battles to win over this piece of land as:
    1. The decision will probably need to be ratified by the full council
    2. HPH (the developer) could still put in a planning application even though the land is outside of Warminster's settlement area and thus outside of Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy.
    3. HPH could challenge the Core Strategy and ask for land adjacent to the town's settlement area to be included.
    We still need to be vigilant and make sure that development takes place in the best places and has cast iron guarantees over infrastructure enhancements.

    Posted on

  146. I forgot to mention my anger about the plans to develop green areas within the boundaries of the Portway Estate. I am not at all surprised that Selwood Homes are seeking permission to build on gthe green areas on the estate. Selwood Homes assured me some 7 years ago that they were intending to repair and rent out the garages at Epping Close. Typical Selwood Housing. I warn local people that Selwood will do anything to get their own way and take no notice of objectors. What is Mrs Ridout doing about it as she will be affected by new properties on the green area between Savernake Close and Epping Close.
    Keep protesting.

    Posted on

  147. I have read the previous messages and am totally behind the wishes and comments. The main threat to the town lies on land between the bypass and residential areas. During the 16 years I was a local councillor I witnessed the weight of public involvement. Residents from the Grovelands Estate and Broxburn / St Andrews road battled against developers and WON. The buffer Zone was implemented but sadly thosew Councillors at County Hall failed to protect the zone. Disgraceful.
    It's easier to say nothing but I was never afraid to have a go at developers.
    John Syme
    Ex-Councillor, Warminster West

    Posted on

  148. Is the town council responsible for the town park. The last few times we have been the boats have not been in use. It is one of the things that we enjoy. Why?

    Paul and Nick Say: You are the sixth person to contact us about this. I asked the town clerk on Monday. It is not the town council. Apparently the Friends of Warminster Park are probably responsible for the boats. Councillor Steve Welling actually runs the boats. Or you could approach Cllr. Pip Ridout who is a leading FoWP figure. If you get no joy then please let me know again.

    Posted on

  149. Hello Paul and Steve and your new colleagues.

    I have today sent a letter to the Warminster Journal regarding the development of local greenfield sites. In the letter I say that councillors and planning officers fail miserably in identifying the risks to open land.

    I shall be keeping the pressure on and when possible I shall tell local residents to stand up and join with other groups to protect the greenfield sites from development. I realise that homes are required but at the same time we all need to protect the flora and fauna that inhabit the fields and meadows. Over 97% of meadows have been lost and damaged forever by the use of artificial pesticides

    I hope this will help with your campaigns. Best wishes. John

    Paul writes: Thank you for that. I remember working so hard with you in the nineties to get a rural buffer zone for Warminster and to ensure that the settlement line was not stretched to the breaking point that would have made us a dormitory town rather than a Market Town.

    Posted on

  150. Steve & Paul
    There appears to be confusion about the number of homes Wiltshire Council has
    allocated to Warminster in it's submission to the Govt Inspectorate.At the Persimmon exhibition they quoted 1,700, but I have also heard 900 as the number.
    It would help considerably in discussing these planning matters to have an agreed number.

    Paul says: In simple terms Wiltshire Council have agreed in their core strategy (launched for consultation in 2009) that the Warminster area will provide 1800 homes for a target of about 37,000 homes for the county as a whole. About 100 will be provided by the villages. That leaves 1700 in Warminster. Since then houses have been built and planning permissions have been given that are offset against the 1700 leaving just over 1000 needing to be identified. In the 2012 final version of the core strategy it was decided that 900 homes would be west of Warminster. In step Persimmon. (That leaves just over 100 to be provided by 'opportunity sites). The sting in the tail now is that all major developers are ganging up on the county council to say that the 40,000 homes is not enough and that there should be thousands more. This challenge will happen in July when a government inspector takes a look at the Core Strategy and gives his verdict on all representations about all issues inot just housing. So Persimmon now intend to test their resolve and I assume that is the reason 900 homes is now possibly 1200.

    Posted on

  151. I live in West Warminster and am horrified by the new plans to swamp our meadows with houses. What plans are in place to protect the watermeadows, with their orchids, water vole, cuckoos and other wildlife? Where will children play and people walk their dogs? 900 houses means at least 900 extra cars on West Street/Victoria Road/Vicarage - what are the plans for dealing with them? To be honest I doubt I could cope with the reduced quality of life in this 'development'.

    Paul says: I just wish I could turn the clock back and win the election that was held four years ago. Sadly councillors since then have either through apathy, ignorance or support for this missed opportunity after opportunity to stand up to this misuse of this area. It has been conceded by them and cannot be challenged as a concept. If I go on much more about past mistakes it will become boring. The real battle now is to make sure that we get the best possible result about what will happen to address your concerns. We new councillors are up for it. We need massive public support. Thank you for your comment.

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  152. I would like to add my support to Cllr Sue Fraser in her plan to return our Market to The Market Place and thereby re-route traffic around the Town rather than through it - we might then get a bigger, more vibrant market.

    Paul Says: I agree. We are proposing a car free day trial that could coincide with the Warminster Wobble. It may also need to be linked to dealing with the idea for a one-way system in East Street. This was one of our key proposals when visionforwarminster.co.uk was launched.

    Posted on

  153. Well done for your support in opposing the proposed horrendous new house building plans for the Town.
    Surely as residents we have the right to enjoy our present open ,unspoilt parts and immediate fringes. They are a great attraction to visitors also who come here to enjoy our lovely Park grounds, meadows and outer green areas.

    Paul Says: Due to the last six years stewardship by local councillors there is nothing that can be done about the concept that has been accepted that there will be house to the west of Warminster. We can try to make sure that we get the best deal. All other effrots by developers can be resisted though. It is up to us to rally ourselves for the challenges ahead.

    Posted on

  154. Is Paul's book still available?

    Paul says: Sorry no. It was published in 1996! Copies were supplied to the town library to be loaned out. I do not know if they are still available.

    Posted on

  155. Hello Paul
    Thank you very much for giving up your time to come and see us yesterday morning. The information you gave us will be a tremendous help. We intend to fight this and save this lovely part of our town from yet more bricks and concrete!

    Paul Says: More of us are all speaking from the same hymn sheet locally. We can back our county planning officers who have accepted that Warminster is not suitable for any more allocations of housing until the next review in 2026! The town council is just one vehicle. Your residents action group is another!

    Posted on

  156. Paul - great to meet you this morning, and Steve at the Redrow 'exhibition'. You have both restored my faith in the town council. Look forward to seeing you Monday evening. Here's to the New Council!

    Paul says: I was the first member of the public to arrive at 1pm. It did not take me long to make the Redrow people feel very uncomfortable. I commend you on your efforts to show that local people do care about what happens in their community.

    Posted on

  157. Could you please email me your contact details - phone number etc. I have tried warminster council but they were unable to supply. We are trying to get as many councillors as possible to view the Redrow exhibition on Friday and we have a lot of information to pass on. Many thanks.

    Paul says: Steve and I are intending to attend the exhibition. Our contact details are being added to the town council website shortly. I will try to meet up as soon as possible.

    Posted on

  158. Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! and Amazing! You did it. You gave us the chance to vote for a breath of fresh air and we went massively for it. I actually believe that you can not only work as a minority but rally the more sensible councillors who wear a blue rosette.

    You new faces take your seats on Monday 13th May at 7pm at the Assembly Hall. We should all be there to support you.

    Has anyone organised a thank you celebration?

    Thank you so much for your steadfastness against all the odds.

    Posted on

  159. I would like to add my congratulations to all of our new Independent Town Councillors - It will now be a pleasure to support our Council and to look forward to serious progress in having our Town Hall returned to the people of Warminster for their use and pleasure and for the pride of the Town.
    Thankyou to all who have worked so hard and been so patient in bringing these
    important matters several steps nearer.
    Margaret Broughton.

    Paul says: I have already been told many times that our call for Civic Pride has been delivered by these election results! The public feel so empowered now. I am amazed by how many people read and understand our vision for warminster.

    Posted on

  160. Well done to all of you. I am sooooo pleased and glad that we have ousted the chief enemy. Primrose

    SD said Thanks for your support Primrose - we can prove that we have the weight of public opinion behind us now.

    Paul says: There is no doubt in my mind that if more Independents had put their names forward they would have won as well.

    Posted on

  161. Warminster is starting to SOUND empty. That might
    bemuse. But actually busy, thriving towns ring with
    the sound of commerce...the footfall on the pavements.
    The opening and closing of doors. People greeting
    each other.

    Towns struggling to survive have a hush about them.

    I go into Warminster some days and there is hardly
    a soul in the once popular areas. Come four o'clock
    the town centre can seem empty.

    The silence is deafening.

    Elsa-Marie Kitching.

    Paul Says: It all began six years ago when they decided to widen the pavements leading to month after month of disruption to the normal footfall followed by new lesser on street parking provision. Perhaps today can bring a fresh feel to the councils leading to a fresh feel to the town centre.

    Posted on

  162. I don't live in Warminster any more but I still have family and friends that do. And in Westbury. I visited the week that the Journal published the 'Engage' propaganda. I bought it out of a feeling of nostalgia. That was absoultely disgraceful. It gave a free advert to all the contact details of those standing for election again and nice head and shoulders pics. How can we complain and can we if we do not have a vote in Warminster?

    Paul says: I have sought advice and it is this. 'It is important for local authorities to avoid their actions being the focus of debate at a media intensive time, such as in the run-up to an election. Although the code is not statutory, it cotains a set of recommendations that local authorities should follow. Therefore the heads of service should ensure that those within their ...groups...are not only aware of of their own policies on publicity but also provisions of the code, since a failure to follow it could give rise to challenge.

    Did the head of service the town clerk make a genuine mistake?

    Locals think that the publication outside the normal cycle of February - June - October is questionable.

    The public including you can can complain to the town council and if not satisfied go to the Local Governmnt Ombudsman, or lodge an objection with the town council's auditor that the cost of this spending was incurred unlawfully, or the the very expensive seeking of a judicial review.

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  163. The last time I commented on your website was well over two years ago! At the time you were trying to get something done about the dangerous junctions at Rock Lane and Smallbrook Lane. You reported that the yellow lines at Rock Lane have finally arrived. Guess what. Another suggested measure of yours has now arrived at Smallbrook Lane. It couldn't be anything to do with it being elections this year - could it?!!

    Paul says: 'You might to think that but I couldn't possibly comment springs to mind'! I am just pleased that it has finally been done. I will say that if I was a councillor I really do not think any of this would have taken so long. Our current councillors responses really beggared belief at times.

    Posted on

  164. Note from Wiltshire Council information that our Town Council (which is in statutory terms a PARISH council) has revenues (2012/13) of £509,178 and spent £218,771 (43%) of that total on "administration" i.e. funding the existence of itself.

    May 2nd will provide an opportunity, certainly in Warminster East, to sweep the stables clean.

    I do hope everyone will turn out and vote.

    You may also wish to note reported praise for the Finance and Assets Committee and its work on the precept, commenting that "the budget allows for a NET (my capitals) expenditure of £453,318 to provide services for residents".

    My comment here is that this equates to around £8717 PER WEEK. I see little evidence of any "services" to this value in the town as a result of the council re-distributing our money.

    The quote was in the Warminster Journal as a reported item. Cllr. Nicklin has made no further comment on the matter so presumably is in accord with the report. I have the cutting if you would like a copy.

    Paul says: Seven staff in the town council offices do not come cheap! I hope our community manfiesto goes down well. Thanks for your contribution.

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  165. Quiz night at the Organ Inn on Sunday 21st April at 8 pm with great prizes and a chance to support this years Wobble that happens on 29th and 30th June this tear.

    Paul says: As a great prize winner in the past I wish you all the best with all your efforts.

    Posted on

  166. Good luck to all Independent candidates in the forthcoming town council elections, without your commitment this would have been the first time in my life when it would not have been worth voting.

    Paul says: Thank you.

    Posted on

  167. Please support Warminster community garden network. We are in our infancy but our vision is based on the success story of the community of Todmorden Lancashire. They had started a project only 4 years ago to mass produce food to become self sustainable by 2018.
    The fact is what they have started has now become global.This benefits everyone. You can see veg growing outside the local police station, fire station, health care centre and it all begins in every primary school with education. They even raise chickens for the school menu...you cannot get any fresher than that. If you think you can get involved spare a couple of hours each week then please e-mail [email protected]
    Here is an inspirational link: http://www.etsy.com/blog/en2013/incredible-edible-todmorden/

    Paul says: We are lucky in Warminster to have so many fresh positive ideas coming forward or to fruition if you can excuse the pun.

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  168. I wish I was not so disillusioned with government from top to bottom and feel that it is a waste of time anyone from the ordinary walks of life trying to do anything. I think a few years ago I would have been a good councillor but at the moment I just keep thinking what is the point. But I still wish you all the best if you decide to stand and who knows maybe in a few years time you will be able to show there is a point. The real signal will be whether you succeed or fail with your Town Hall campaign. Good luck!

    Paul says: Thank you for considering being a councillor. I have had so many similar conversations with others. Just this morning someone very interested at the time of the parish poll was keen but now says it doesn't matter what we do they will do what they want anyway.

    But another said that we have to stand up and give the public the chance to vote for the alternative to what has gone on in the last six years and vote for what will happen could happen in the next six.

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  169. Having seen the photo of Mr & Mrs Davis outside the conservative club I wondered as one of the councillors who pushed for the refurbishment of the civic hall why he didn't have his reception there. Perhaps it isn't as good a venue as we were told.

    Paul replies: Having accepted an invitation from a Tory councillor to join him for lunch there years ago as a journalist at that time and having played skittles there for Warminster Liberals enjoying the 'club' prices years before that I have to 'declare an interest'. Interesting point though as they erected a flagpole in time outside the White Elephant!

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  170. Warminster - the Walking Capital of Wiltshire?

    We are very fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most fabulous and varied walking routes in the county. From the sweeping vistas of chalk uplands along the edge of the Plain to the numerous routes through Longleat Forest and out to our network of surrounding villages.

    The problem is that whilst most of this is connected by footpaths and rights of way - there are a few short stretches which aren't - none of it is properly integrated with housing in the Town to make it accessible and attractive to people pushing prams, wheeling chairs or with small people on bikes. The result is that we have to DRIVE to reach places to walk. Not very 21st century!

    Lets start by making the Cannimore Road a truly accessible route into the Forest, and by extending the footpath in Victoria Road the missing 300 yards to connect with footpaths out to Cley Hill. Another 200 yards of right of way to connect that route up to Longleat Forest in an accessible way and we would have the makings of a network, and a key attribute for the Town to be proud of. Could development be linked to providing the finance for this sort of community improvement?

    Paul replies: We agree. My favourite phrase when talking about one of the things that are good about Warminster is 'no matter where you live in Warminster you will almost certainly be within five minutes walk of really good open countryside'. We are now working on updating the 'vision' 2013-18 and your thoughts will be added.

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  171. Hi! My name is Nick. I am part of a steering group of five people who have recently got together to discuss a new project for Warminster. We also have a vision for Warminster. Based on an idea from Todmorden ...Google it! Basically it all started in one woman's garden and it spread throughout the village. At present we have come up with a name - 'Warminster Community Garden Network CC'. Discussions have taken Place between W.C.G.N cc and Selwood Housing and also wiltshire Wildlife. They are very keen but as of yet the ball is in their court waiting to be returned. First Selwood to come up with the land. Based on the Food Bank concept the idea is to create a community gardenor gardens with people from all walks of life coming to meet, mingle, socialize, and share skills and knowledge then and provide for those less fortunate to provide for themselves. Given the economic climate and the forecast for tough times ahead still i.e rising food prices and a dark shadow overhanging job security, there is a need to act now. To be as successful as Todmorden, it would require a whole lot of effort from people who would love to contribute, however big or however small to make this happen. All it takes is one small piece of unused derelict land to get the ball rolling. Keep your eyes and ears to the ground.
    If any of you would like to get involved in any way, please let me know.

    Queensway Resident Nick Dombkowski

    Paul Replies: This is just another example of what is good about a large part of the Warminster community. Good luck. My first thought is what is happening to the small bit of blighted land where the garages are in Boreham Field?

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  172. One of the sites listed as possible housing on Warminster SHLAA is listed as Church Street. What a lot of local people don't realise is that this site is fields either side of Dorothy Walk (behind Minster church) and if the developers get their way at least 120 houses will be built and Dorothy Walk will disappear beneath a road.

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  173. I knew Chris Holmes from our schooldays at Kingdown. He was a very pleasant approachable person who seemed to be able to get along with just about anybody. He was also a great supporter of the town. He be sadly missed - R.I.P.
    Paul - Thanks. Chris went to school with my wife Elaine (nee Anderson).

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  174. Town Council to spend £1000 on a flagpole at a time when every other part of government is making severe cuts is unnecessary and has nothing to do with the sort of civic pride that you guys talk about but more like civic vanity and grandeur. None of this nonsense when they were at Dewey House. If they have to fly a flag it should be from the building that should be centre of their civic pride - the town hall.

    Paul - Thanks for that. We discussed this morning and agree. Excuse the pun but sometimes this is the standard that we have come to expect from this council over the last five and one half years.

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  175. Just found this very enthusiastic site, just spent a good couple of hours reading from your start well done keep up the good work.

    Paul Says: Thank you. WE are very open to any ideas that you have for updating the vision.

    Posted on

  176. You Say: Twelve months down the line. and Warminster's Town Hall still owned by Peter Cauldwell. And no nearer to being put back into some sort of use.

    Paul says: 'It made the headlines' 12 months ago. I am sure it will make the headlines again once the people get the chance to vote next May.

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  177. I met Chris for the first time about five years ago. As well as a good pint we also shared a love of trains. That joint interest led to many conversations and a truly memorable day at the Severn Valley Railway last year. During our time if Chris was sat on a bar stool in the Organ creating havoc, I'd probably be sat close by laughing. Bless you Chris and thank you.

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  178. Chris helped me when I need to get another car after I crashed my first. Because of my injuries he came over to the house in his own time to do the paper work. He planned out his day when the car was ready. He got the bus into work that day and timed it so that I could pick up the car when he finished work. He then sat with me while I drove it back home. How many other car salesmen would have done that? He was a true Gent.

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  179. Hello PauL

    Thursday 25th October 2012:

    Danny Howell writes:

    St. John's Church ~ The Spiritual Heart Of Boreham ~ Became The Community Hub For Those Who Say 'No Development At Home Farm'

    It was dark and there was a cold nip in the air outside but that didn't put off over 100 people attending a hastily-arranged meeting at St. John's Church, Boreham, this evening, as they rallied together, ready to meet the challenge and more than keen to defeat the latest proposal for covering the fields of Home Farm with houses.

    Hallam Land Management have an agreement with the landowners (two parties) to seek planning permission for 320 houses and the developers would like to get these built as soon as possible ~ although the final number crammed in the area bordered by St. George's Close, Corner Ground, The Dene, the MOD land, Bishopstrow Court, Boreham Road, and Grange Lane, could be as many as 350.

    Fifteen minutes before the meeting was due to start, there were 52 people inside the church, and when the meeting began, five minutes late, at 6.35 p.m., the number had swelled to 106 (I counted them). They filled nearly all the pews, while some people stood at the west end of the church by the font, among them the Reverend Denis Brett, Rector of Bishopstrow and Boreham. The spiritual heart of Boreham had also become the community hub.

    Nick Parker, who lives at The Cotes, Boreham Road, thanked everyone for coming and then in an introductory talk, informed all of the previous hard fight to save this cherished farmland 15 years ago, of the latest enlarged proposal, and of the very short notice (4 days) that Hallam had given for their exhibition at the Civic Centre (with only a small advert in the Warminster Journal). Nick described Hallam's exhibition as "shocking" and went on to say Hallam's information leaflet contained a lot of misinformation.

    Nick announced that EBRAG - the East Boreham Residents Action Group - has been quickly resurrected and he introduced the new faces who are already working for it on issues including the impact any development of Home Farm will have on the environment, traffic, schools, the doctors' surgery, as well as drainage and sewerage, etc.

    People listened quietly, like church mice, as Nick spoke of Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy 2006-2026, but there was chatter as they got the message loud and clear that each and everyone one of them as individuals has to make their views known to Wiltshire Council by 1st November 2012 - a fast approaching deadline.

    The meeting was then opened up to the floor, and a microphone was passed round, to the "congregation" of concerned and worried residents, who not only included those from Boreham Road, Grange Lane, Bishopstrow Court, Corner Ground, The Dene, Boreham Field, and Queensway, but also from the neighbouring villages of Bishopstrow, Sutton Veny and Norton Bavant. There were people from the town of Warminster too.

    And the age range was wide. There were the elderly with walking sticks, the middle-aged, parents with children, young women and young men. The hymn numbers (431, 246, 285 and 180) from the last church service at St. John's were still displayed on a board behind the lectern, but those present were all "singing from the same hymn sheet" as they prepared to mount their community campaign.

    Councillors Sue Fraser and Andrew Davis were called upon by the audience to speak. They both said what they knew of the Home Farm development, thanks to the persistance of Nick Parker who was keenly questioning them and sometimes contradicting them too.

    Among the issues raised by local residents were:

    drainage problems which already exist at Boreham Road;

    the wetness of the Home Farm fields;

    the possibility that Kingdown School is going to have to move to the west side of Warminster because it has reached full capacity;

    the strain on our doctors' surgery;

    the proposed accesses from Boreham Road to the development;

    fears that the development could involve years of noise and mud and the danger of chemicals from the building work polluting the river Wylye;

    the current water levels of the river Wylye and future effects;

    the proximity to the flood plain (Bishopstrow water meadows);

    the increase in traffic that 320 houses (at least 600 cars) will bring to an already congested town centre;

    archaeological and ancient monuments in the housing development area;

    and the loss of the peaceful countryside and its wildlife.

    Others raised associated concerns:

    how long ago was this development being considered?

    have the Legg family already sold the land?

    why have the Boreham signs disappeared and why has the Warminster sign been moved much closer to Bishopstrow?

    why is Home Farm referred to as being in Bishopstrow when it is in Boreham?

    is Bishopstrow House Hotel against the housing development or not?

    is it true that Longleat (who own Bishopstrow House Hotel) are going to enlarge the hotel building and that they have plans for holiday chalets in the hotel grounds?

    that, for some while, the pumping station at Boreham was so in difficulty pumping the sewage it was supposed to, that it was dimming the electricity supply to neighbouring houses and interferring with television sets!

    that the Ministry of Defence are not happy about the proposed housing development!

    that other housing is also being proposed at Boreham Crossroads!

    that housing is destined for the Beeline Coach Depot and the former Hillside Hostel!

    and that there are currently over 200 empty houses in Warminster!

    The meeting ended, at 7.55 p.m., with a round of applause, and people left knowing the community is united together again in a single aim ~ to keep the fields and woodlands of Home Farm exactly as they are, not just for all of us now but for future generations too.

    Danny Howell

    Paul Mac.

    Thank you. This is much more than a hot topic for our pages. This is for the whole community. I hope they wake up after this.

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  180. Hi! V.F.W. So I may have been in my 20's back in the 1990's and oblivious to local issues and so like an ostrich with head buried in sand or probably not interested. I would of been unaware of the attempts by developers of land to contemplate the destruction of a piece of country side that has seen generation after generation enjoy memorable walks to and from Battlesbury hill and woods. As with Home Farm.A history that forms my connection with my late father, who had worked for The now late,Burt Legg. So I guess now 20 years later and also being driven as a Christian I feel passionately about issues like justice and standing up for what I believe in. As well as to challenge those in authority? Are they jumping the gun a little? Have they thought this through given the immense impact this will have on an already undermined services. Services straining at the further stringent cuts proposed. If the Avenue surgery cannot cope with the growing numbers of patients on the doctors lists usually unable to see your own doctor for a fortnight or more. Schools full to capacity. Non existent employment opportunities in the local area to the increased vehicler traffic of an estimated 900 x2 in and out on to the Boreham Road on a daily basis, I feel the pillagers of this proposed development, Wiltshire Council, may need to reconsider their consciences before committing a of dire consequences.

    Paul replies - Some very good points which have been argued many times in the past including when I was a councillor in 1991 which led to a rural buffer zone around Warminster including this land during that decade's planning review. (A big thanks to John Syme for his help with that one). To be fair to Wiltshire Council in their latest long term strategy they have rejected this area preferring to see 800 homes built towards Cley Hill. I also disagree with that for the reasons you have stated. Warminster cannot cope with any more housing full stop.

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  181. Can planners express that they are bored with the same area of a town being looked at time and time again for making shedloads of cash out of Warminster when it is a non-starter that just wastes time. I suppose it reminds the locals that they have to appreciate the community they have and react as such every so many years. Will Wiltshire Council stick by their guns?

    Paul replies: I hope so but we will have to make sure that we keep a beady eye on this. I was very disappointed that there was absolutely now coverage in the local papers apart from David Pullin who writes 'So wake up Warminster this affects us all'.

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  182. Glad you are back.

    PM - Thank you. We are both old enough to remember trains with coal tenders behind so it my take us time to build up a head of steam again but feel free to use this express (yourself) line any time!

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  183. Me Again,

    So sorry you have just lost your mum, Steve. What an interesting life. And one dedicated to helping others. So that is where you get it from - such a credit to your lovely Mummy. I met Ann Spurr. She was one
    of my daughter, Charlotte's tutors. My daughter had regard for her. Totally dedicated to her profession. Wishing you peace at this sad time, ElsaX

    PM - Hi! Steve is on holiday at the moment but your condolences will be appreciated.

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  184. Dear Steve,

    I am a writer of Comic and Curious Verse. My Poems have been broadcast out into the BBC Radio Bristol area. Often having the presenters in stitches. RIchard Lewis , a well known FIlm and TV Scriptwriter read out everything I sent.

    My poems have also been published in The Warminster Journal. I have had some good appraisal from the Readership.

    Back in August I entered 3 poems into The Warminster Festival Poetry Competition in the belief that my poems would be read and judged by the adjudicator,
    Lucy English. The entry fee for each poem was £3 which I paid.

    None of my poems were short-listed. I thought one of them
    WHILST IN LONGLEAT WOODS, a fantasy of 40 lines in rhyming quatrain had qualifying
    When the rejection letter arrived I realised , to my astonishment that the short list
    had been compiled, not by the appointed judge but by the Festival Committee.

    I then wrote to the Committee asking why it, and not Lucy English had compiled the
    short list.
    I had a reply , not from the committee but from Lucy English who stated that the
    process of selection was a standard one and she was satisfied that it was fair.

    I then wrote back to Lucy that no where in the promotional copy was there any
    mention of poems being short-listed by the WF Committee. ( This can be verified by
    looking on the Poetry Competition Rules page on the WF website. It clearly states that
    the adjudicator of the competition is Lucy English.)

    This means that only 16 of the poems submitted and paid for will be judged by Lucy.
    She wont even get at glimpse of any others.

    Again I wrote to the committee telling them I thought the promo was
    deceptive, disingenuous and that I not only wanted my poems returned but my fees also. I await a reply!

    That Lucy English is happy with the pre-selection process is worrying. It appears to be that she lacks the humility to take on board the great effort people have made to
    send in poetry and also pay fees during difficult financial times. I personally would not
    trust anybody else to make a short list for a competition I agreed to judge. I would meet effort with effort and make the time to read every single entry.

    I would be interested to know if anybody else felt duped. What say you ?

    With regards from, Elsa-Marie.

    Hi Elsa - Not a good advert for the festival. Is Gerry Mandarin involved again?

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  185. Steve
    I'am wondering why the sound system @ the white elephant (civic hall) wasn't included in the refurbishment plan, surely it would have been easier and cheaper to incorporate in the building process.
    Also the CCTV needs replacement I thought the reason Dewey Hall wasn't sold to cover some of the cost of refurbishing the hall was the cost of moving the CCTV why not go wireless move it to White Elephant and sell Dewey Hall to pay for audio and CCTV replacement or do we have to get another mega loan.

    Hi - not sure about the status of Dewey House. It may not be possible to sell it on the open market due to restrictive covenants. It might not have been appropriate to include a sound system in the financing of a capital project. SD

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  186. Dear Stephen, Perhaps I shouldn't sound so negative about Kingdown. Perhaps I didn't do so bad after all as I left college to work for an insurance company. I knew that John Lush and the boy Smith (I can't remember his first name), were both in successful jobs as they insured their cars through this company. I went on to work for an international civil engineering company dealing with their company claims. They built the Metro Centre in Gateshead, Blandford Bypass and the Codford Bypass. Had I been a male my salary would have no doubt been greater. That is the point I was trying to make. Incidentally, I was taught how to iron a man's shirt - were you taught to iron a summer frock?!! I don't suppose you have a photo of the whole school as I recall us all gathering on the pitch to the side of the tower block in the early 70's.
    Kind regards, Christine.

    SD replies - always iron my own shirts too. The photo you mention was set up but never appeared. I don't have any photo of Kingdown which is a shame. But the early 70s were a less affluent age so fewer people had cameras or film either.

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  187. Dear Stephen, You don't get where I'm coming from. The reason Mr Bastin's class all got good grades was because he creamed off the best brains. I managed to get my RSA Maths pass with credit in the 4th year. (A shock to myself and Mr Atyeo) but went on to get a poor grade in O Level Maths. The current teaching methods will pick up any slippage and teachers work with pupils to correct any slack. Have you ever wondered why Arne always won most of the PE trophies especially tug-of-war? According to a recent biography Mr Atyeo would go through the intake list and personally pick out the pupils who were good at sport for his own house! Not much encouragement to all the hundreds of others then! I think you were in Deverill - I may be wrong. I was in Cley - hopeless. Nowadays each child is coaxed onto a path to make something of their lives. This along with parental guidance will ensure the child has a happy and productive working life. If the parental guidance is missing for whatever reason the path can be very bleak indeed. Kind regards, Christine.
    PS Keep up the typying. How about shorthand? Sorry for the typing error in the last message. (Obviously didn't master that subject very well either).
    Hi again - yes I've done the shorthand as well. I have spend many happy days in the criminal courts at Winchester where shorthand is a must.

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  188. Thank you for your comments. I cannot agree with your view of Mr Bastin either. I was in the top stream for both maths and english in the first year. Mr Bastin focused on the boys in the front two rows of his class. The rest of us who struggled found ourselves in a lower class at the end of the year. The current education system tracks each pupil so no-one gets 'left behind'. The reason the UK is ranked so low against other countries may be because mothers return to work instead of teaching their children themselves. Too much emphasis is put on nursery learning. I have worked in nurseries and was a teaching assistant in a local primary school. The 'number line' and the 'letter fan' together with the rushed curriculum contribute to the poor levels of education. However, on the plus side young adults are leaving school with greater levels of confidence with a 'can do' attitude and the girls are empowered. Kingdown in 1974 turned most of his girls into typists!! I don't recall one single boy learning to type likewise no girls went on to become geologists. Thankfully girls can now be whatever they want. I'm sorry to sound so argumentative but that's probably the reason why I didn't get on with my teachers! Still I never got caned despite missing double PE on three Wednesdays. Another lesson where I was uninspired. Best wishes, Christine.
    SD replies - I seem to recall everyone in Mr Bastin's class in 1974 passed the O level with the highest grade - boys and girls! I do all my own typing!!!

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  189. 'Chunky Francis'
    I have just read your kind comments reflecting on your geography teacher. I was also at school with Chris Robbins, yourself and John Lush. You were all boys in the top stream. I was in the second stream. Perhaps that is why my recollection of Mr. Francis differs from yours. Going up the stairs and finding his room in darkness filled me with dread. Yet another lesson watching a film. The drone of the commentator sending me to sleep and the noise of the projector annoying me beyond belief. Mr Francis sitting on the desk surrounded by teenage girls. I always felt that he was a reluctant teacher and I cannot recall him teaching me anything. My husband's recollection is held in the same vein as yourself but he has a memory of being sent down the local shop to buy him fags! Mr Weekes filled me with dread so much so that I would get in a state on a Sunday afternoon knowing that I had his English lesson at 2 pm the following day. A nasty, sadistic man. I don't recall him teaching me anything either. Mr Ateyo, Mrs Baum, Mr Wyer, Mr Bundy, Mr Folker all contributed to my varied working career. Miss B, the biology teacher taught me the most. I am pleased that so many of the boys who left in 1974 went onto professional careers but it was a sign of the times that the girls wouldn't achieve the same. Thankfully that has all changed. Regards Christine Mabbett (nee Willsher).

    Hi - Christine - yes I can recall you well and you make interesting points. You are right that by 1972 Ken was a reluctant teacher and again in that Mr Weekes was a scary proposition for an 11-year-old - but he did force you to learn. Both were characters of their time and believe it or not I was caned twice! Whether the current education system is working well is a moot point. On the OECD rankings England and Wales have slipped from about eighth in the world to about 27th for maths and literacy in the past 10 year. Modern methods (and oodles of cash) may be more humane but decades of grade inflation has robbed exams of their rigour and I am continually amazed at how little people know when they leave school. At least after years with Mr Weekes you knew how to use the apostrophe and with Mr Bastin (arguably the best teacher ever to have been at Kingdown)you were numerate.
    Hope you are well wherever you are. SD
    PS - Yes I suppose the films of the TT races around the Isle of Man were more likely to appeal to boys!!!

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  190. Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your reply. I happened to find myself within the
    secure confines of a massive oil storage depot last year. on Canvey
    Island, located in The Thames Estuary.
    Massive ships pull up and decant light and heavy crude which
    is stored in massive containers. What a desolate place. Men in hard hats
    and high viz jackets put together the massive oil drums -sparks fly from
    the welding equipment. The ancilliary side of things carried out from rectangular
    containers - Admin , Cafe, Toilets.
    Reminded me of the 1945 novel by John Steinbeck Cannery Row.

    About a mile distant general life continues ...little houses,
    a characterful pub. Dog walkers and, incongruously a row of
    gabled beach huts, pristine, well cared for.

    With regards to the councillors THINKING they were
    doing the right thing,

    ( Q ) Do you know what THOUGHT did ?

    ( A ) He thought he got out of bed and got up to have a look !.

    In my book, it isn't enough to THINK you are doing right
    when you are spending public money, especially so at a time of
    massive National Debt.
    You have to be absolutely sure that what you are spending it on
    is of vital importance to the community you are incurring the
    debt on behalf of. And that what is spent is
    overtly accounted for , down to the last denarius ! Elsa

    ANSWER - I think it all comes down to judgement and common sense and these people have shown poor judgement and little common sense.
    Thanks for recommending Cannery Row - I read The Pearl, East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat in my youth - interesting writer Steinbeck - I have to catch up with him again.

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  191. Dear Steve,

    Thank you for all you do with regards to keeping this very valuable website up and running.
    If I was HMQ I would tap you both on the shoulder.

    Apropos the new Un-CIvic Center -
    We ought to put all councillors responsible for this
    iniquitous project into a pea-green boat without any money or honey and set it afloat for Bong Tree Island.
    Regards, Elsa-Marie

    SD replies. That is a nice idea but in this country you not only have to prove the guilty act (actus rea) but also the guilty mind (mens rea). We all know they have done wrong but they thought they were doing the right thing so they could never be convicted - however they are totally unsuited to public service because of their complete lack of judgement. Bong Tree Island is too good for them!!

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  192. Hi
    Just found this site - would you care to add Warminster Inbloom facebook link to it? We're a small group of volunteers trying to enhance the look of the town, through extra hanging baskets sponsored by local businesses, getting people involved in making the town look extra special this year. We've done some planting and tidying in Central Car Park and have more to do on March 25th so all volunteers welcome.

    Keep up the good work!

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  193. I am continuily being forced to drive, my Mobility scooter in the road, by inconsiderate motorist parking on dropped kerbs.
    The worse offenders are car owners living in the Pound St area.
    Taxi driver's parking in Station rd.
    and Portway lane.
    I have learned to avoid Victoria st on bin collection days because the pavements are narrow. But its is impossible to know if cars are going to be parked on the dropped kerbs
    I have had articals in the local paper and have rang Wiltshire Council numerous times. To be told its a Police matter. Ring Police told its a Council matter. Feel dizzy going round and round.

    SD writes - the issue of parking was decriminalised several years ago making it a civil matter for the council. However if there is an issue of obstruction then police should be able to get involved. If you have specific occasions where you have called police over an issue of obstruction and they have done nothing please contact us and we will ask police why they have failed to act. We need time, date and ideally a photo of the incident and if possible the shoulder number of the police officer who refused to act.

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  194. Ill health has stopped me from putting myself forward to stand for council.
    Otherwise I would have done.
    May Law

    SD -Hope things improve for you soon.

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  195. Steve,
    No comments from you on the plans by the new owners of The Town Hall
    [a group of 5 business-men]?
    I spoke to Elizabeth Collyns a few days ago and she outlined their initial plans re cleaning up the mess, outside and in and the leasing of rooms for the public use and businesses etc.
    Do you feel this is what is happening?

    Also, the 'private' opening today of T.Hall.
    The public having to pay for it against their wishes, for years and not even allowed to the opening - not that many would want to be there.
    What do you think?
    We should have had a demo at the door, without stepping inside of course!

    SD replies. Yes we considered a demo but pressure of work made it impossible plus we didn't want to involve the new Lord Lieutenant in the dispute. As the Queen's representative she should not be embroiled in politics and shame on the town council for doing so.

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  196. It is a disgrace that the expenses for the Town Mayor are being increased.
    I seriously suggest that we have no desire or need for a Town Mayor and the money saved could be put to far better use in the town.
    How about the Town Council having a public vote on that?

    SD Replies. I totally agree as Warminster having a mayor totally offends my sense of history. Unlike places like Salisbury, Wilton and Devizes which have had mayors for centuries, Warminster was never an borough. So it shouldn't have a mayor but should have a chairman. Those in charge in Warminster have no sense of history either as they would never have landed us with Tirana House (the Assembly rooms) and left the town hall to rot.

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  197. At last Paul is standing for election at least we will now have a say on the council because the people on it now don't listen well done Paul you get my vote.

    MANY thanks for your support Mike

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  198. Are you using Cicero as a type setting tool or as a comment on Warminster Council or, perhaps, both at once?

    SD Sorry - as you suspected it is just importable text I was using while we were having some tech problems. Your comment is perhaps the first time in recorded history that Cicero has been mentioned in the same paragraph as Warminster Town Council. Another first for VFW!!!!

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  199. It is indeed good news that Paul Macdonald has decided to stand for election to Warminster Town Council.
    Let us hope that all of us who have so despaired of the bad and expensive decisions made by the majority of the present Council, will be able to look forward to having a Councillor in Paul,who will join the present few members who work for the wishes and the good of the majority in our Town instead of the minority.

    SD - Couldn't agree more

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  200. I watch 2 cars have parking tickets put on the windscreen, In the carpark by Argos. The car park attendant watch the drivers of the cars leave Argos then walk into town. So beware when parking in this carpark or the Lidi car park
    Carpark attendents do patrol and issue fines

    SD - Sound advice - I always bike

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  201. So Now our police are officially on the move can anybody explain how traveling back and forth to Trowbridge is going to save money. This obviously is a ploy to get rid of the police station completely sell it of and be policed from Trowbridge,surely a town this size deserves its own police station.
    Is our MP going to involved to stop this stupidity or is too concerned about saving his own job

    SD - I;m sure you are correct - Wiltshire Police Authority members are meeting this week. The last item on the agenda is about the police estate (In secret of course)

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  202. So it seems that an offer has been accepted for the Town Hall. It begs the question why the buyers missed the auction.
    I assume Planing permission will not be hard to get as it will save Warminster Council a lot of embarrassment and they can claim they saved the building from declining into further disrepair

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  203. Regarding the new Tesco supermarket drive thru' in Southampton, I hope customers will use it and they will then realise, whilst waiting in the queue[probably longer than the check-out queue] that as always it will be Mr. Tesco who laughs all the way to the

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  204. These offensive matters, of the unelected council inflicting their personal plans on the residents of this town, has gone far enough to demonstrate,surely, to even the slowest learner, that this town is a ROTTEN BOROUGH as was designated in the 18th century. They haven't even had to do it in an underhand or sly way...they just ignored YOUR existence.
    My point is,that anyone who still holds the opinion contrary to the facts that,'choosing to stay in power until they have got their own way is NOT standard operating procedure under a Monarchy without a written constitution',is wrong.This leaves the electorate with the only alternative of violence in the face of this degree of contempt. This council MUST therefore be reliant on their police for the physical perpetuation of the power they wheedle , as they are NOT on the electorate
    Anyone who thinks the above extreme, is extremely servile.
    You are not Citizens,that came with the first Republics,you are Subjects and therefore subject to what your "betters" want.
    To see medival servility in action,observe the behaviour of the serfs of Horningsham on their village fete days awaiting the arrival of THEIR LORD, accompanied by women of various races,to open their yearly Revels, curtsying and bowing...have they no self respect?....National Geographic if interested in this anthropo, need not hurry....as this country is most comfortable on its knees.
    England has an ancient history,...non of it worthy of pride. As Napolean said "The only Englishman with any Guts,was Cromwell"

    SD replies - some strong views expressed. The decision to extend the life of the Warminster Town Council was a county wide one but one which has served the the people of this town so badly in view of the crazy plan to refurbish the Assembly Room and force the community to pay out two million pounds over the next 20 years without any democratic mandate.
    Yes they have ignored us but our day is coming in May 2013 when all councillors in Wiltshire, town and county, can be removed via the democratic process rather than by a revolution.

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  205. Hello Steve Et Al,

    What we really need in Warminster is a Speaker's Corner.
    Somewhere where we can, unimpeded express our views.

    There would of course have to be a rota set up for occupation of the corner as some of us could easily stand there most of the time...day and night!

    Where else can one spout off unedited?

    My point topic would be the ghastly ghetto
    behind Victoria Road. Craftily spaced at the beginning to make it look better.
    Condensed without a care for people's need for
    space and privacy behind.

    Second up would be the decimation of
    our deciduous trees, felled almost weekly ...see the Planning Apps Colums.
    We are becoming shadeless. Soon my garden
    will be the only one with trees in it.

    Here is a little tree poem for your amusement:

    Don't tell secrets under trees
    Cos trees can lift them to the breeze
    The breeze could pump them full of air
    And send them off to who knows where.

    (I am a writer of comic and curious verse )

    Steve replies - a novel idea. The nearest we have is the town hall steps I suppose.
    I stood on them for a couple of hours on Friday and got to speak to quite a few people. It was amazing that so many people had so much to say - one thing they seemed to want to raise without prompting was the total waste of money on the Assembly Hall/Rooms/Civic Centre or whatever they are calling the benighted place this week.

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  206. War-ming-ster getting a Waitrose?! That's like Portsmouth getting a branch of Fortnum and Mason. Most Warminster residents don't even know what an avocado is and if the booze section isn't stacked high with White Lightning it's going to go bust in short order.
    AND OI! Lay off using the Stonehenge pics because that’s in Amesbury - an altogether more salubrious settlement!

    STEVE ANS You obviously don't know Warminster well - the favoured brand of cider here is Rich's of Highbridge not white lightening. Stonehenge belongs to Wiltshire so as a Moonraker I feel entitled to use it.
    I've been to Amesbury - no railway station, no hospital, no newspaper of its own, no historic buildings in the High Street, no carnival - no Waitrose. It is better than Westbury though.

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  207. I admire the valuable information that you added in your site thanks

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  208. Your latest article about the Council and the Assembly Rooms gave me joy; not because of the rubbish put out by the Council but because I have found someone else who cares about the correct use of "less" and "fewer". O frabjous day!

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  209. Having received "Your Council Tax Explained" leaflet, a few things need explaining on the Warminster Town Council entry re The Assembly Rooms.
    It states "The Council will move into the rooms", so much for your Parish Poll.
    Also it predicates a budgeted income from The Assembly Rooms of £39000 up from £34900 last year even though they will be closed for most of the year.
    The total budget does not mention the Public Works loan or it's repayment.

    SD replies - they make it up as they go along - pinning them down is a bit like nailing jelly to a wall or bottling fog!

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  210. Steve I fully support your letter in taking WCC to task I also was a signatory for the parish poll but I was not informed of when the vote was to take place so my vote was not recorded.But as WCC and Warminster Council seem to be in bed together I feel the ombudsman is the only answer

    SD replies - thanks Keith. They are in bed together but I think the legal department at County Hall is actually very good and straight so we may not have to go to the Ombudsman. Time will tell!

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  211. Steve,
    I strongly support your letter to the Chief exec.
    Do you have an email add. for Andrew Kerr Ç I will write to him.
    Good to see that AM is trying to put pressure on.

    will be in touch

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  212. Well done you! You don't give up and you're brave! You know I'm behind you.

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  213. The plans for Yeates meadow were nothing more than suggested plans, intended to open up a discussion into what people wanted from a scheme, that would, after all, enhance the site. The only voices heard were those that opposed it, using the unfounded fear of housing development. A closer look at the issue exposes the fact that a single user group has full run of the field excluding others from benefitting from the amenity. The scheme suggested that the wider community could have use of it also,increasing the species count and making it far more attractive than the present grassy meadow.
    Funding for this scheme is being sourced and the need to build on the site to raise money is, it is hoped,not required.
    If anyone has support for the scheme then please make your voice heard, it belongs to us all not just a limited group. Steve you may be able to enjoy this field again if plans to enhance it tempt you back again. The time is right for this type of creative idea, food production and community effort will become more and more vital long after our dependance on road transport and supermarkets.

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  214. I, along with other traders have been asked to a meeting on the 21st of February about the new parking charges and the council's idea that traders should refund the 40p first hour charge to shoppers and claim it back from the Town Council.
    I e-mailed all the councillors and asked them why I should bother going to a meeting when they have completely ignored the wishes of the town's people and gone ahead with the assembly room move.
    It was fairly obvious from the wording of the letter that the scheme has already been decided on as we apparently are meeting to finalise the scheme and to agree the two part ticket design to be used - doesn't sound like there is too much to discuss there!
    But apparently not so. I have misunderstood the letter and It's all open for discussion and I should bring my ideas to the meeting. All this came in an e-mail reply from Sue Fraser copied to some of her friends on the council but not others - suprise, suprise.
    So I asked Sue to supply me with some figures as to how many tickets are issued on an average month in the car parks under discussion. Surely she must have that information to come up with a figure of 2000 tickets at which a cap is brought in. But she won't or can't tell me. She says that the figure is based on the number of available spaces.
    I smell a con coming here somewhere.

    SD - Replies. Good for you for reminding them of their bad faith about the Assembly Hall. When it comes to car parking they are at least trying to do something - even if they were a bit slow off the mark.
    I'd give them a fair hearing and ask some searching questions at the meeting. The last government, which didn't understand market towns, continually goaded major councils like Wiltshire to charge for parking. Now they are doing so at time when footfall to the nation's High Street has fallen by 20 per cent over the past two years - and in Warminster by more as a result of the town centre improvements snarling up our main street.
    I'll be writing more on this subject as I have recently seen some interesting information which I will send on to you.

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  215. Great news for the Great Bustard and congratulations to the Group - they have been doing a wonderful job and well deserve the means to carry it on.
    It is a group visit well worth while to take and helps their funds too.

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  216. Amazing how that letter In the Warminster Journal from L. Bohanna naming me as one of the truth speakers/trouble makers sounded exactly as though it had been written by Tony Nicklen! How in accord the two of them must be!

    SD Writes = You are not the first to think such a thought - they say great minds think alike. Perhaps Tony was too busy stroking his cat to write.......

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  217. Hi Steve,

    Ref: CLOACA MAXIMA , I hope that amused.

    Good luck with your campaign. I have sent off letters to Officials , in support.

    The next election of the Warminster Town Council
    will, I hope will be one of EXCRETUM EXTRACTUM !

    Sincerely, Elsa-Marie.

    SD replies - Many thanks for your support and interest. My knowledge of Latin is improving markedly!

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  218. I've just moments ago,listend to the BBCc's so called 'flagship news program R4', announce the presumably grave news to the nation; (1)'That today, the risk of terrorist explosive attacks on railway stations has been elevated to EXTREME' (2)That 'Britains got Talent' TeeVee will be stopping doing auditions in Mewcastle..reasons undisclosed.
    (3) That an unfortunate young woman in Bristol has been murdered. .....(4) That some blokes are having a game of bat and ball in Australia. All announced with the same gravitas.
    This is the day Ive waited for all my life...without it being possible for me now or ever, reasonably to be accused of bad taste or being barmy.
    Therefore, I nurture the hope that Warminster Railway Station will be blown up sometime,early morning, when even less 'contestants' than usual are trying to prise a space within the two wheeled containers that constitute the owners opinion of what is 'fit' for us English, (pardon my use of the last word).
    I live within hearing distance of their Tannoy so I know what I'm on about!
    Only several trains a day use this line at most,(there were non during the snow).
    This I hope, may have the Socio/Fiscal benefit of having the Station demolished and the lines sold to India for scap,and the remaining route being cheaply converted into another B road route, twixt Salisbury/Warminster/Bath
    Apart from 'cosmetic'sections of dual carriageway along this route,non of this existing Trunk road,comes close to what Hitler sorted out in germany in the 1930's.
    Bonus Fact;the last time this station was refurbished was when yer Prince 'Big Ears' visited His,(not yours)Army here several years back.The security cameras that were installed weeks before by his police gunmen presumably,were removed within a day or two after.They were there to watch you,not for your benefit.You just paid.

    SD Interesting stuff about old big ears - I know the royal train caused a lot of inconvenience since we no longer have any sidings in Warminster. However the trains did run through the snow as they took me to work (I don't trust my rear-wheel drive vehicle in snowy conditions) although the journey took longer than usual.

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  219. having read your reply to my letter i once again feel i must answere. You talk of impulse buying, and yes, that can be true in many ways, but once again if trying to save money you don't look at other things, and the same goes for these other places thats visited. When you go into Reeves for your bread etc, thats not all you see, can you say you've never been tempted to buy 1 of those cakes etc looking at you? I never mentioned any names as i didn't want to start a war, but seeing as you've mentioned some, including Robins, i must say that watching meat being delivered to the shop from a lorry, parked on the roadside, carried across the pavement with people walking all around, all UNCOVERED, with cars and lorries of all discriptions driving past with thier fumes, dust etc, hardly entices people to enter and purchase. you talk of milk lasting a week and then tasteing diff, in most households milk dosn't last that long!

    SD - A visit to the cake shop does take will power. However I would suggest that supermarkets spend millions annually researching sophisticated product positioning and subliminal messages to get people to impulse buy - Reeves just relies on the quality of its products.

    PM says - I enjoyed my festive shopping once again in our town (and very close by) although I have to admit buying just one present from outside of Warminster as our bookshop had closed and i had set my mind on a Paddington Bear anthology for the grandchild.

    I say thanks to shops like (amongst others) Warm Wishes in the Cornmarket, Footprints in Chinns Yard and the garden centre at Crockerton for presents, and others like Plain Ales and the Wylye Valley Vineyard shop for nice little thank you festive cheer.

    And we must say a big thanks to our local postmen and postwomen who worked so hard to deliver the presents and cards through what was one of the worst weather leading up to Christmas!

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  220. I feel that i must say something about the fact that people keep saying about supporting local, smaller shops. Many of us would love to give our support to the local and long standing trades people, but sadly money does not allow, in these times at the moment we have to shop where we can find things cheapest, and if that means supermarkets etc then so be it. The difference between some items is so big that it cannot be ignored, 2or3 cheaper items make for 1 more item to be bought. 1 example is milk, i would love to be able to give my support to the local milkman, and have the pleasure of not having to hump it home but the price difference is so huge its unavoidable i can get 4pints for a £1 in 2 of the supermarkets. Like i said at the begining, unfortunatly money/costs do not allow as wished sometimes.

    Steve replies - You make a valid point and this subject covers a multitude of topics. There's no doubt that people who shop smartly can save a great deal by using a supermarket but these companies haven't built up into the huge monster businesses they are by being charities.
    One area they use is impulse buying which means that many people buy more items than they need and end up throwing lots of food away.
    I've always had my milk from the milkman and yes, it is more expensive, but you know that it will be on your doorstep come what may and it means you don't have to make unnecessary trips to the supermarket just to buy milk. The bottled stuff also tastes better because it hasn't been in contact with all that plastic for days on end. The fresh milk from the milkman also has been less subjected to heat treatment than the supermarket stuff which can last a week in your fridge (but it doesn't taste the same).
    The same applies to bread, pasties and meat - Reeves' bread, Tidi Oggi's pasties and Chris Robbins' ham are all far superior to the stuff offered by Morrisons.

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  221. ref Journal article "Move will go ahead" 3rd December
    I attended the Council meeting on the 22nd November. Obviously the Council "spokesperson" wasn't there because at no time was it mentioned or implied that the council offices were to be move to the Assembly Rooms.
    Why are they claiming they have to be there because Wiltshire County Council will have a hot desks there.
    The original proposal as I understand it was to carry out essential maintenance,essential compliance and building improvements.It appears some of the councillors are using any excuse to get what they want and taking the public for mugs Surely they know there is no mandate for this move.
    I would like to commend Councilors Ridout And Fryer on there letter in the same issue but would point out the loan was to be £500,000 not £450,0000

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  222. I observe in the agenda for the meeting of the Wariminster Parish (let's not fool ourselves about its true status) Council's Communications Committee meeting there will be debate as to whether the council should spend some of our money wishing us a merry christmas via the Journal. I think I can comfortably live without such a greeting.

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  223. I wonder how much the site of the white elephant Assembly Hall would yield if sold for housing development? I really cannot see the point of throwing good money after bad by spending even more on the ramshackle outdated eye sore.

    ANS - Sadly not as much as we thought. It seems the county council owns the land surrounding the building, thereby creating a ransom strip!

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  224. Having read The Warminster Journal over the weekend An article on the back page caught my eye,apparently Warminster Information Centre are investigating the possibility to extend there building at a cost of £300,000 this will give them rooms to rent a personal care/support room a base for Wiltshire Council officers to visit the public etc. This sounds very familiar to another plan that costs nearly twice as much.Is this a case of lack of communication or just muddled thinking

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  225. Having attended last night's council meeting I am wondering what we are getting for our money as there was no break down or summary of the estimated costs & STILL NO BUSINESS PLAN.
    At the meeting on the 26 October in the Assembly Rooms I had the impresion we were talking more of a figure around £500,000, now it seems it has risen to approx. £701,000 which is not much less than the original £800,000. The council are now planning to borrow £500,000 with repayments of approx £35,000 per annum combined with the current losses from the Assembly Rooms of approx £54,000 per annum (councilor Nicklin's figure); we the tax payers of the town will be lumbered with a debt of £89,000 + for 20-25 years. How can they look at themselves in the mirror and think what a wonderful job we've done.

    Steve's Reply - Thanks Keith. You mentioned cllr Nicklin's figure which was supported by the account person the council had invited along. However an economist, looking at the opportunity cost of the Assembly Rooms, would see the true annual cost as being the 'opportunity cost' of this financial disaster. Then it would be £104,000 this year - as this figure would include fees charges not just the 'trading loss'. Of course some 'loss' on community facilities is to be expected but this community facility is woefully underused. If we are to be lumbered with it then we must ensure is is much better used.

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  226. As the Council seem to have spare money to spend on public 'consultations', maybe the next one should be on the need for the glossy 'Engage' publication - so long as there was to be only one question and with only a Yes or No answer permitted -[as in our overwhelmingly successful Parish Poll the result of which the Council chose to ignore]
    From what many other residents also say, Engage is adding considerably to our refuse.

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  227. Apropos nothing relevant.
    Three cheers for the Warminster military.
    In todays Warminster Journal I read that the extreemist doggy human rights faction have been banned from letting loose their "he wont bite you's" onto Cradle Hill. Driven there, to be 'emptied' there, rather than around their own homes...Crafty! A month or two ago, after myself/wife &7 year old grandson had lost nerve whilst walking there,I telephoned the police at Devizes to inform them of, amongst others, a Staffordshire Bull terrier,and two Rot Weillers on the loose there:to be informed that it was not against the law!
    My point: Police are not an element in public safetey: Local councillors are not an element in public democracy.
    Power lies in the hands of those who wield most force/power... the County Council Commissioners and the Military, respectively. Village elders count for nought.

    ANS.. They may not count but they can still cost us....

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  228. I like the poem on the Assembly Rooms although I think that really a piece of prose in the style of Swift might also be called for. Your next effort perhaps O Boreham Bard.

    I was thinking more Edward Lear!! SD

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  229. Re: Assembly Rooms.


    I have no doubt that some well known local building contractors could benefit from the 'improvements' to the assembly rooms, but what about the wider population?

    As far as I can tell the service culture of our local authorities is grudging at best and I cannot see it changing any time soon. And so a brand new bright and sparkly assembly hall will not be anymore welcoming, or any more loved than the present shabby old one.


    Well said Alan!

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  230. Having attended the council meeting Tuesday 26 October I'm amazed & embarrassed at the incompetence of our council - why didn't they know about the VAT, why didn't they have estimates for all options not just the full monty. Were some of them so arrogant they thought the consultation document had won them the day. Now it's all rush & tear to get estimates & who knows what we are going to get now - I suppose we'll just have to wait for another extraordinary council meeting!

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  231. All the discussion about loans and improvements regarding the Assembly Rooms, yet, I have never seen a figure to tell us what the market value of the Assembly Rooms will be when it is refurbished. I would like to guess that it is far short of the money they wish to spend.

    If you have a chance please could you ask this question because they are putting the whole town in hock for 25 years for something which will not appreciate in value to correspond with the interest we will have to pay.

    If the mayor ran her business in this way the shop would close very quickly.


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  232. Following the disastrous decision last night by our largely unrepresentative Town Council,our only hope is that the huge loan application will be refused now that we are in an ongoing period of public and personal financial restraint.
    Those who have no desire to fund this new home of The Council should not be saddled with the debt.

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  233. Steve,
    Both my Partner and I always listen to WCR and take part in the phone in's
    I have even been to the studio and had an on air chat with Ricky Lee
    I for one would like a daily broadcast.

    Reply - Good - I'm not against them but would like to hear more concrete evidence of interest before funding them - public money is in very short supply of course. I wouldn't dispute that it is a well run and professional operation.

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  234. Following the Full Council Meeting on 20th September, it is now obvious that the Town Council is pressing ahead with their plans to 'take on' the refurbishment of the Assembly Rooms - this, despite the huge 92% vote against, by the people of the Town and Villages. We do not want a huge loan, even with the input from WC.and we do not want The Assembly Rooms. Surely that land must be worth far more than keeping that building on it and could be put to far better use.
    As for the Council'questionnaire', [many questions but not one asking if the wish is to keep the A. Rooms building]- the exercise is an expensive waste of money, not anonymous or random and not worth returning.The Parish Poll was allowed one question with a 'Yes or No, only, and the Council chose not to accept the wishes of the voters.
    How about sorting out the mess of the parking problems in the town [which is already affecting the many small businesses] and doing more to get all the long-empty shops brought back into use.
    Warminster town needs a 'lift' - we have some lovely old buildings with much history and great appeal and they need to be cared for as other towns care for theirs.

    ANS - We'll have to see exactly what decision they arrive at - not all councillors are keen on facing up very angry public opinion or want to be seen as undemocratic. Some of them actually live in the town and do talk to members of the public.
    At least things are moving forward with the town hall.

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  235. I have just picked up my questionnaire about the Assembly Rooms, being pretty sure that I would not be included "randomly" on the council's list.

    We are not being asked whether or not we want OUR money spent on this project (which of course they know from the Parish Poll) but whether we think crockery should be included in the deal when it is let out and some other detailed questions of the same sort. And, tucked away in the midst of the verbiage a question about the use of the Rooms by the Council.

    It is a very cleverly thought out form since the answers (yes or no) will be seeming to back up what the Council wants unless people add their own comments. So, if you have received one, do think carefully before you fill it in.

    Steve Says. Thanks for that Primrose. The Mugabesque way the question are framed stand in stark contract to the straightforward and non-leading nature of the parish poll question which was designed to be completely fair and unbiased. I'm sure a couple of town councillors are a little bit embarrassed at what is going on in their name.

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  236. I attended the council meeting on the 16 Aug & after thinking about it for a week I'm still disgusted with some of our councillors.
    Councillor Davis seemed bored with the whole thing & did not appear to know what was going on at the end wanting to discuss the WCR situation which he had just voted on.
    Councillor Nicklin - I was at the previous meeting & heard what he actually said not the doctored version he claimed at this meeting.
    Councillor Baker did not seem to under- stand that Warminster people do not want the Council's vision of the Assembly Hall (hence the so called negativity).It doesn't do him or the council any favours by castigating the people attending over their views & I was insulted that he was permitted to address the audience in this manner.
    If they want the true views of the electors why not hold a referendum instead of the 'random' survey which is planned where fewer votes will be cast than the Parish Poll which the council have ignored.

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  237. Hello, I feel really encouraged that Warminster has a civic voice and acts on it! I live not far away in the beautiful town of Mere and am becoming increasingly fed up by the lack of parish counselling and the apparent disregard for the protection and conservation of our historic centre. To the point that I feel the only way to protect our lovely town is for residents to step in and create their own civic society. Can any members offer any advice on how I might go about setting this up in terms of registration and official status (my aim is for the civic society to have an active voice in planning matters particularly related to planning application in the area which is meant to be protect by conservation). Apologies if this is not really the right forum to ask! Regards, Helen Davies

    ANSWER - We would suggest contacting Warminster Civic Trust for advice. Their contact details are on our links page.

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  238. I have been trying to find out how the mountain bike time trials were allowed to run on the fields of Smallbrook Nature reserve today.
    I admit that very few people took place this year - but how was it even given the go ahead. Conservation/nature area - cyclists !
    I first found out on Friday 1700hrs - spoke to someone at Wiltshire County Council who said that the Town Council should of informed all local residents of the possible disruption/noise near their properties - After speaking to my neighbours - not one of us were informed prior to this, so we couldn't voice our objections.
    Doesn't this sound familiar - with the advent of councillors only elected for a 4year period,trying to tie the town into a £800,000 debt !How many palms have been crossed with silver over this !!
    Who do they think they are? They a local elected people to help the people and community of Warminster,not Demi-Gods deserving of an ivory tower to live in
    Do the Town Hall up and move into this wonderful historic building

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  239. If I wanted to live in a place with no character or soul with and interesting street scenes then I could live in Imber training village with cardboard cut out houses.

    Persimmon should now be told they have had their lot as far as Warminster is concerned.

    The town has just about right balance of housing.

    I am cross how they knock down one house and put up three or four.

    Thank you for your informative website and the coverage you have been giving to the good things that are happening in our town.

    More people with a vision and understanding of how the town clicks are needed.

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  240. Do we know, or is it possible to find out, what firms are being asked to tender for "improvements" to the not wanted Assembly Rooms? Is some local company or local people set to make money out of it?

    ANS This information is usually available. The town clerk should give you this info if you ask.

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  241. Does anyone have any enforceable ideas to stop the mindless vandalism to our young trees in the park? [The cameras apparently do not cover the trees area]
    These were mostly replanted due to previous stripping of the bark with knives and now it is happening all over again.
    It is unacceptable that we have to tolerate this behaviour which denies so much pleasure and benefit to the environment.

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  242. I\\\'m pleased to say I was one of the lucky one\\\'s to have voted in the Parish Poll at the Assembly rooms though I too would of missed it had it not been for my supervisor that very day when he had to deliver the polling booths there at very short notice!!!!..So I got down there to cast my Democratic vote and whilst waiting Facebooked all my friends on my phone why it was so important to get down there to cast a vote....what would we do without social Networking!!!:D

    Thanks Nick..Glad you understand social networking we're far too old and wrinkly for Twittering and Facebook!

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  243. EUPIt\'s all apparently very \"even handed\" of you, to offer your site to the \'pretenders\' from the three major political parties to express their \'wares\',for the purpose of obtaining the five year, £k75 (plus similar\'expenses\')per annum jackpot job in this MOTHER of all Parliaments,in your \"attempt to foster interest\"in the upcoming farce . Your action does nothing to express the general contempt of anyone I know,of all politicians...As an ex lifelong Conservative voter,(due to the performance of the present incumbent for example, who took no stand against the corruption during the period I last voted him in No wonder he suffers \'permasmile\'. In my own irrelevant opinion.
    This country is not yet ready for party politics; not until it is a modern democratic Republic,where the amoral \'trousering\' of cash, can be written into a constitution and made criminal law that even THEY can understand.
    Please pardon the overt bitterness of the above,but I now know that I have been made a fool of all my adult life. I am convinced however for the need for a Republic written constitution of the state, to include imprisonment of any politician who treats the electorate,with this much contempt ever again. My intended contribution to democracy is not to touch their election, as to do so is irresponsible.

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  244. I was shocked and annoyed when I read the Journal yesterday to see that I missed the parish poll. The minimal notification given may have been correct but an advert in the Journal the previous week would have ensured more participation. Obviously this resulted in a poor turn out. Was this a deliberate ploy to ignore the result due to the low percentage of voters and carry on with the expensive refurbishment only certain people want - I hope not! I anxiously await the decision of our Town Council.

    ANSWER - The democratic principle is central to the way we do things in the UK so I would hope that the town council heeds the poll. It was a landslide and given the time factor an astonishing number turned out. We would suggest that you write to the town council and say you would like to be added to those opposed.

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  245. I have today received a copy of this week\\\'s journal to discover from the front page article that I have missed my opportunity to vote in the parish poll as this was held yesterday!!
    I am disappointed that this important event had not been more widely publicised as I would have taken the opportunity to lodge my vote against the waste of money associated with the move to the assembly rooms. Further, there was a meeting a few weeks back at the assembly rooms to discuss this matter, unfortunately I was unable to attend as it was during the children\\\'s bedtime - 6pm, had this meeting taken place at 7pm, when ALL other town council meetings appear to be held, then I would have been in a position to attend and to have had my voice heard.
    The town council are clearly paying lip service to residents, as this matter really is not being dealt with on an inclusive basis.

    **Steve's answer: Thanks for your comment and I think the town council now knows what members of the public think. However it is the county council (Wiltshire Council) that has the questions to answer. Why was Bradford on Avon given two weeks longer to debate and promote its poll on the new bridge. County Hall has to answer this if the public is not to lose faith in it the new council. The old WCC was a trusted if unweildy brand in public eyes but the unitary council (Wiltshire Council) has already something of a tarnished reputation in many people's eyes.

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  246. Apologies Paul for not attending the Meeting at the Assembly Rooms as regards to the Question the call for a parish poll. By the time I opened my emails on the day of the meeting I discovered the one you sent me the previous evening too late as I usually check them on returning from work. unfortunately on this occasion I hadn't:-(
    ANSWER - Quite a few people were unable to attend for one reason or another - now we must ensure a good turnout in the poll itself.

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  247. What is it going to take to have the soon-retiring Mayor to understand that the people of Warminster want our Town to be an inspiring, attractive place to live-in/visit and do NOT want the uninspiring and unattractive Assembly Rooms - to be renovated at such huge cost to them.
    As one member of the Council has pointed out, the sensible way would have been to do a marketing survey as to who would want to use the rooms and at the cost that will have to be charged to help service the massive loan being considered.
    If the Councillors need more space, why can the Main Hall of Dewey House not become the Chamber?

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  248. IF, and its a pretty big IF, a parish council can provide services at less cost than a higher layer of local government, then the cost reduction should be reflected in the call on the council tax payers pocket. I have little faith in the ability of our current bunch in that respect, given my experiences of their inability to understand simple submissions concerning traffic issues, an area of activity outwith their statutory responsibility and authority and demonstrably, beyond their competence.

    SD replies: If after a year they parish councils find it is costing them money rather than saving then the services can be passed back to County Hall to run.

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  249. First of all, "statue" should have been "statute" and I think the statute in question is the Local Government Act 1972. Personally, I would not favour increasing the responsibilities of parish councils. More responsibility = more resources = more staff = greater calls on the public pocket. They are insufficiently accountable at the moment.

    Answer - If anything we need more parish/town councillors - unlike unitary councillors they are totally voluntary and unpaid and should be encouraged. The finances are a bit complex but as with local management of schools which came in in 1991 the money would follow the service and shouldn't see any increase in cost. If the town council can do things for less than it can pocket the difference to the benefit of local taxpayers.

    I can see no need for a mayor and a chairman would be a suitable substitute. As far as Warminster is concerned, I think two councillors for the East and two for the West would be sufficient (by preference living within the constituency they represent, with a separate town vote for the fifth member, the chairman.

    As far as the current hot topic is concerned, I would be happy if it became an issue of confidence and the best way to settle this is for the entire council to resign and put the matter before the electorate.

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  250. Delusions of grandeur appear to condition the minds of the town councillors, with the honourable exception of Cllr. Batchelor, for this council is no more than a parish council with the limited by statue authorities and responsibilities of such bodies. I object most strongly to their silly notion concerning the assembly rooms, with the consequential burden of debt to be carried by present and future generations.

    Given the very limited statutory authorities and responsibilities of parish councils, I am given to wonder why on earth a population the size of Warminster's requires twelve councillors to take care of the trivial areas that parish pump politicians are allowed to dabble in, and why these people are also now proposing to spend around £1000 on regalia for the deputy mayor, given that mayor himself has about as much power as the mayor of Toytown, strutting around in regalia which looks as if it came out of a christmas cracker.

    I would also urge people to visit the Council's own website and read the minutes of the various committees that sit in meaningless pontification, thus being able to see for themselves the remarkable speed with which these committees get through their business.

    Answer - Thanks for that - which is true to a large degree. However minor local authorites do have the ability to take on extra work. If they can do so more cheaply, efficiently more geared to the needs of the locality than the big council then let them. Street cleaning is a case where this may be so. There is of course no need for a mayor - some towns in Wiltshire have a chairman who sits for for several years in the chair, gains real experience, and doesn't get sidetracked by the chains etc.
    Should we go back to having a chairman?

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  251. I have to agree with Primrose Kirkham. I had already noted that the Mayor only seems to use the word 'I' and forgets that he is in a position to represent the people of this town not his own interests. Of course, he won't see thse comments because he doesn't read'vanity websites!' Maybe he should he would get a better feel for what the people of this town are feeling and thinking. The Councils questionnaire had no space for additional comments and I had to ask for paper so that I could leave additional comments. There seems to be no mention about what will happen to Dewey house if the Assembly room/civic centre(!) plan goes ahead - will it become another Town Hall fiasco?

    ANSWER - While the mayor has been at the centre of the storm we should perhaps ponder that 11 of the 12 town councillors have given this idea their backing in some way or other. Pressure can be applied to the others - their details and email addresses can be found on the town council website.

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  252. We were incensed yesterday after speaking to the Mayor regarding the Assembly Hall debacle because we came away convinced the 'proposal' was already cut & dried as a contractor appears to be lined up already for a start date in June 2010! He admitted it would be a 'GAMBLE' whether organisations would hire the facilities because costings couldn't be done until the project was completed. Let us see some alternative costings for refurbishment of Dewey house/Town Hall. We understand that TIC had a petition in their office last week but how many locals go in there. We're all for a PARISH POLL because it appears from letters in The Journal & public opinion that it's only the majority of councillors in favour.

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  253. After seeing the mayor in action at "his" day this morning I realise that the words - dialogue, discussion and listen are not in his vocabulary. His style seems to be that of speaking loudly and at length with no intervention allowed.

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  254. ASSEMBLY ROOMS 66 years ago I was born in my grandparents council house in Shropshire, due to my father being away until I was three years old attending a World War he\'d voluntered for,(My grandfather had attended the one 20 years ealier on the same basis and as a result he was very poor, never even able to buy a wheelbarrow.TRUE) That this State provided them with a house, I am proud of, as they were part of \'the deserving poor\'.
    (With exeption of the \'wheelbarrow,the above is similar for my wife of 45 years).
    BUT:My opinion is that these Assembly Rooms should be sold off ASAP to allow Council houses to be built there. This would result in the following benefits to us who have paid our way and taxes throughout our lives, under threat of police violence, and have had only one husband/wife,and who\'s offspring know who they and we, are. There will be huge saving in the cost of taxi fares to and from Morrisons supermarket,(from conversations I\'ve involuntarilly heard in there)to and from social houses,that we taxpayers will no longer have to find. WE have not doubled the number of houses required as a result of loosh breeding of communes of children who are split between parents who then demand I pay for their subsidised and multiplied requirements for shelter as a result of \'walking off\',or those who have circumvented the need to work by the import of disabled foriegners to live of the surplus of the state aid they are expert at obtaining and who\'s morality I deeply disagree with.
    That the employees of the people,(council workers) will not then be given free car parking, as is the offensive case at Trowbridge as we speak. THEN only to have to pay for a Delux haven for all of the above,to operate in warmth from! I am all for support to the \'deserving poor\' but this is not any version of Socialism that my grandparents would recognise.
    I hold out little hope, as ALL politians today seem \"socialists\"

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  255. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe the details of the loan were first reported by the Journal. If we are to back any local protest it would be nice to believe we are backing our towns interests rather than personal political gain.

    STEVE'S ANSWER - We were first to raise the issue on 20 January in our 'Hot Topics' section. In fact this website and our views were quoted in the Journal's first story about this matter. That isn't important though - we run this website year in, year out, at our own expense purely to benefit Warminster. The parish poll is our idea but the only way to stop this crazy loan - whether people support it is of course entirely their business. But we should have been consulted before the decision was taken - as money has already been spent.

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  256. The seating in the three Horshoes Mall has been removed. I understand this is mainly because of groups of youths in the evenings drinking and leaving mess within this area. Also some damage or grafitti has been done. On the basis of this one would think the removal of the seating is a good idea. However I believe that this decision is bad because once again it sends the wrong message to the disruptive minority. Once again this minority do not suffer or pay for the damage and littering they do. The people who will suffer, will be the elderly and infirm who like to take a rest during shopping or sit there for a chat with friends and other members of the public who like to take a short break in the mall. We have CCTV and community police surely a combination of these is able to either catch the culprits whilst in the process of their misdemeanours or CCTV should be able to identify them at the time or later. Once identified they should be named and shamed. If the parents do not take action, the parents should pay a fine for their youths actions. If the offenders are over eighteen they should be fined direct. When are we going to make these people responsible for their actions? Once again it is the innocent that suffer the lack of facilities while the offenders move on somewhere else. The whole country has gone backwards. Return the seating for those that use it properly and deal with the minority offenders with a suitable punishment or are we to give in on every occassion.

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  257. Thanks for the answer Paul/Steve as regard's to the Frank William memorial fountain In the park. Well hopefully I may bring this up at the Mayor community day at the Assembly rooms this Sat 27TH Feb,if I remember not to forget to go!!

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  258. As regards to my letter which appeared in the Warminster Journal on 5Th February entitled Wasted asset meaning the old town hall going to rack and ruin set against the ridiculous proposal by the town council to take out an £800,000 loan to convert the Assembly rooms into it's offices, my argument is that if the asking price for the town hall is say £400k then why can't the council purchase this Iconic building if not then damn well sure their current home could be converted and extended for a lot less and cheaper! Like I said if they're making a loss on the Assembly building why not sell or lease it to a private leisure company to convert it in to a cinema or ten pin bowling alley or what ever. Their shaping the future for Warminster plan seems all too hollow to me like yeah not in my life time sort of thing. J D Wetherspoon the pub chain howevver, I hear are always out looking to do up old buildings and incorporating the old Public Toilet block behind I'm sure they would express an interest this would undoubtedly smarten up this area no end and consign the eyesore to the history books. this is just my idea that could bring an end to the sorry state of affairs that just linger on and on. Finally on one last note you know of the memorial fountain which is situated in the town park. Would it be a good idea to have it reinstated to where it was originally erected by the old post office, now that all the market place is so beautiful with it's wide pavements I think if it was set on a plinth and turned into a water feature( though there would need to be some remedial work to repair the crack at the top as it has been hit by a skip lorry in the past in the park) with a tank and pump beneath it that would be the icing on the cake Lol!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would like to hear your view's Paul or Steve.

    ANSWER - An interesting idea about the fountain and it would certainly lok better in its orginal position. I'm not sure who owns it but I believe the last member of the Morgan family living locally died in a car accident in Longbridge Deverill in the early 1990s so we can't ask them. My best guess is that it now belongs to Wiltshire Council.

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  259. It is absolutely crucial that there should be a parish poll regarding the crazy proposal the majority of our town councillors have voted for.

    It is the inhabitants and taxpayers of this town that will have to pay for this enormous loan.

    In the worst recession ever known where the banks have to had to be bailed out, there has been a huge rise in bankruptcies, council housing is still almost none existent, need I go on, and they want to move offices at a cost of over a million pounds. No way should they be allowed to make this decision alone.

    We must insist on a poll and the people of this town should get behind this now before they try to steamroller this ridiculous idea of a loan, through.

    Really, angry, frustrated and amazed Warminster resident.

    Kevin Tarr

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  260. Unlike the several modern Republics that I have lived in during my life, Warminster,like averywhere else in this Septic Isle, is ruled by a system of patronage that would be recognisable to tribal village elders and chieftains in colonial Africa during the 19th century. They may have been the Head Men of their villages,(elected or otherwise)but their ability to legislate was irrelevant,as control was completely in the hands of unelected appointed District Commisioners, (conjugate the words, Head Men,Trowbridge planning Office and Central Government,for District Commissioners to get the picture).
    To live under the status quo, is to live in fear of the powerful....I wish I\\\'d thought of that!
    I support your hopes, and wish you well in controlling those with their hands on our cash collected by the threat of police violence. I fear that it will take a lot more than talk, to bring this about.

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  261. Hi,
    You may have seen my letter in the Journal the other week as I do so agree with what you are trying to do and trying to stop the Council from mortgaging the town for 25 years on a white elephant.
    I used to live in Warminster when I 1st came to the town and used to run the carnival was, vice president of the Twinning Association for 25 years,and got involved in orgainising the Queens jubileel celebrations so I have a considerable commitment to the town and what happens in it and to it.
    I still run the Warmister and Westbury Talking Newspaper.
    I have lived in Crockerton for over 30 years and as such would not be eligible to vote in any Town vote but I would like my views and many other people who have contacted since the acticle to be heard.
    I have not had anyone disagree with your or mine point of view.The Town Council cannot surely dimiss this ground swell of disapproval?
    £800,000 could get a brand new civic center and some social housing on the sight to be proud of.
    Some thing has to be done to that building to try and stem the hemorrahaging of cash from the Town\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s revenuue budget.
    Not sure how I can assit in the fight but I fel very stonly about it that I would like to be involved.thsi is not a matter of Politics as a general election looms it is a matter of commomn sense prevailing.
    Geoff Thomas

    ANSWER: Thanks for your support. It certainly isn't about politics and we have people from all parties and none on our side.
    Although you can't vote you could get involved by standing for election to the town council as you live within the qualifying area.

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  262. Assembley Hall

    Perhaps you could clarify the history of the Assembley Hall.

    I have heard that the Assembley Hall was built and paid for by the people of Warminster. Was this capital asset handed over and by whom? (by the town council perhaps)

    I feel that your 'vision' for the Assembley Hall is in contradiction to your objections for its improvement.

    Your aspiration for a community centre is admirable but naive. Who would run the centre? Not volunteers. The voluntary sector has been systematically strangled by government legislation.

    In my opinion Warminster rate payers cannot support Dewey House, Assembley Halls and the Town Hall. The town council only needs ONE premises.

    Thanks again for this message board.

    STEVE's ANSWER: It is of course an evolving picture. I'm a lifelong native of the town but my memories of the early 1970s are of things other than who was responsible for new buildings. However even if the the hall was the work of the Warminster UDC (the was no town council until 1974) it would have passed legally to the then newly formed West Wilts District Council on local government reorganisation.
    We would agree that the town council should not have to fund three buildings but the Assembly Hall/Rooms could be handed over to a charitable body such as a development trust or specially created not-for-profit charity which would therefore free the building of paying national non domestic rates and have many other financial advantages.

    Whatever happens the Audit Commission only this week made it clear that local authorities MUST take more note of and make preparations for the ageing population and to do this Warminster must have a building for such work. Of course I've a vested interested in this as I'll be able to have a bus pass in less than nine years (unless the rules are changed which they probably will).


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  263. Well done with your gallery of other town halls. I think this proves the point nicely about civic pride.

    Clearly the assembly halls are no longer viable. Even the model railway exhibition is moving from the hall next year.

    Surely with some generous planning permission a substantial sum could be raised from the sale of the assembley halls.

    Many thanks for this website.

    Reply: Thank you for your supportive comments, Simon. The options for the Assembly Hall as an entertainment venue are limited as times have changed. When the housing market recovers the site would have a major capital value though we would suspect that when ownership of the building was transferred the legal document would have contained a clawback clause for a 20 year period in which time any capital receipt would go to the old district council (and its successor authority) rather than the town council - that is quite usual.
    It is of course a public building and there should be a use for it perhaps as a centre for organisations trying to cope with our rapidly greying population. We have outlined this potential use in our chapter in The Vision document.

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  264. Rergarding the Council\'s move to The Assembly Rooms = I cannot see why they need to move!If they need more room why not put up a Pratton Hut behind the building. They are good enough to teach children in and would save a great deal of money. Plus how can they even think about taking on the Town Hall as well,if they go ahead with this. It is just now Possible!
    The reason for the loss in revenue at the Assembl Rooms was the Hike in the charges and groups could not afford to rent it for their meetings or anyone else for that Matter.

    Answer: I think we agree with what you say George though there has also been a change in tastes and preferences - and the law in relation to weddings - which has seen the popularity of the assembly rooms decline. Warminster no longer has a register office for marriages and many upmarket venues now provide a wedding/service all in one.

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  265. Dear Paul and Steve


    Please will V for W organise a public meeting asap so that a plan can be formulated re Town Hall and Assembly Rooms and aob as needed. I think we all need to act quickly. There must surely be some kind of funding available for purchase and renovation of the Old Town Hall. You two must have expertise in this kind of matter. We are relying on you. Primrose(one of your original supporters!)

    ANSWER yes we agree and have discussed this matter in detail at our regular Saturday morning meeting. Will be in contact with supporters this week with a view to them signing the request for a public meeting to stage the parish poll.

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  266. Rather than moan about the council's grandiose money-wasting scheme and the disgrace to Warminster in the shape of the crumbling Town Hall, we need to take some kind of direct action.

    Can we hold a meeting to discuss the problems and what kind of publicity-based action we could take? I feel that democracy is not the name for what is happening in Warminster and we need to try and take the power back into the people's hands.

    I should be interested to hear other views on this.

    ANSWER - Yes agreed we need to have a public meeting quite soon - more on this soon.

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  267. Dear Readers,
    I wholeheartedly agree with the letters in this week's Journal[29/01] on the subject of The Assembly Rooms and congratulate Paul Batchelor on opposing the plans put forward by the rest of the Councillors.
    It would be quite unacceptable to spend that amount of public money on that building.It is a a very unappealing design both externally and internally with no historic value whatsoever and my suggestion would be to demolish it and build well designed housing.
    Surely, it must be financially possible to solve the access problems and bring back our true Town Hall for the people of Warminster.I feel sure that there would be a lot of support for such a solution and the town would become so much more appealing to residents and visitors alike.

    sign, Margaret Broughton

    ANSWER - There is a lot of support for that viewpoint in the town. One sticking point has been that there's no parking outside the Town Hall. WELL PERHAPS CERTAIN PEOPLE SHOULD WALK 50 YARDS FROM CHINNS COURT

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  268. Dear Readers

    I would like to add onto my previous message, that the shops and facilities we presently have in Warminster are good, I frequently shop local as often as I can - as it's far more convenient than travelling out of town and it's good to support the local economy. Having more local ammenities though would enhance the town that much more.

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  269. Dear Readers

    Is there any chance Warminster could follow in Frome's footsteps? I've lived in Warminster for 7 years and love the fact we've got some beautiful old buildings, breath taking countryside on our doorstep and friendly locals but feel the town has so much more potential. I hear people often moaning about the town, there seems very little injection of creativity in the place. I've been told that Frome 15 years ago was once like Warminster but Frome has come on leaps and bounds compared to here - why? with it's arts centre, cafes, nice shops, theatres, cinema and it's anuual Frome festival it offers arts, culture and a positive place to live. The people I know who live there are proud of their town. I know people from London who have moved there and love it! Frome gives the impression it's a positive town with some get-up and go. Frome is even Kevin McCloud's (Grand Designs) favourite town in the UK!

    Why can't Warminster be this way? It would attract in more tourists and people from other towns, therefore helping the local economy, it could help improve the stagnant housing market here and create a positive place to live.

    Who is at the helm to make this happen?

    Come on Warminster - get creative!

    Steve replies - You are correct. Frome suffered hugely when out of town shopping took away trade and the agricultural market moved to Standerwick. It has benefited from a more dynamic town council over the past 15 years - that sort of dynamism is something we seek to encourage on this site. But it can't all be achieved by the council - people need to get involved.

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  270. Paul : Congratulations once again on an excellent web-site. And thanks also for mentioning my book of poetry in your suggestions for local Christmas shopping.
    You ask why I wrote the poem "The Devil and Mrs Brown". You have to consider a young man lying in bed listening to the sounds of London, his mind full of what he has read during the day. He has learnt of the Provencal civilisation, devastated by the Albigensian Crusade, and of the legends that arose from the poetry of the Troubadours. Perhaps only a very young man would be so foolhardy as to contemplate producing a mini-epic in blank verse on the subject !
    So far as the final poems in the book are concerned they are, of course, an attempt to introduce the Golden Ratio into verse, perhaps again not entirely successfully as the mathematics had to relate to words rather than syllables !

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  271. Gents
    It would appear from Pauls comments in Hot Topics that you are not being kept informed like the rest of us regarding the (Old) Town Hall.

    Under the chantry heading,Paul wonders what is happening regarding the town hall.

    The building/owner has gone into receivership, this means that the bank are forcing the sale of the building to recoup their money. This is another harsh casualty of a crippling recession and once a bank take this decision, there is little that can be done to reverse the process.

    The asking price for the building is £400,000 and unfortunately due to the work needed inside and out and the impossibly difficult financial climate, I do not believe that a buyer will be found anytime soon.
    Therefore unless the council come together to organise their own purchase of his important building, you will need to get used to seeing it in its redundant state.
    With regards to your sentiments about an alcohol free bar in the basement, part of the reason the basement bar was closed and not reopened was because of the change in legislation regarding disability access. The costs of conversion to make it available to all run into many tens of thousands and this cannot be avoided, I know because we had a full disability survey carried out and the results were not good.

    I am suprised to learn that some local councillors have said they are waiting for firstly the sale listing of the building to go live and secondly the release price. The particulars of sale for the building have been online for over 3 months, I have provided these for you below.

    I understand the need to continue raising awareness of the building and its potential but dont forget, this is owned by a businessman who had a genuine desire to improve the building, revamp it and reopen it to the public, it is not his fault that the recession has come along and done the damage it has. Try not to be too harsh.

    I trust that this clarifies the situation for you, please email me if you require any kind of update, I will be only too happy to help.


    ANSWER: Thanks for that it is very useful. We must keep this issue in the limelight.

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  272. Soo you give all this big talk about inproving life for us younger people of warminster, but i dont see many improvments yet. I like the idea of a shelter for us but im also keen on some where where i can hang out indoors and stay for a couple hours with some friends. Like a bar but without actual alchol.
    I have also been talking to my mates and we all would like a starbucks and something like a go karting track or bumper cars.. These are ideas that we have came up with and we are waiting to see if you take our opinion into consideration.

    So its over to you two, how can YOU help us?

    PAUL REPLIES ; We have written this vision as a long term project so not much will have appeared to have changed.

    Since we launched we have called for the town hall to become home an alcohol free bar as part of its return to public use. Twelve months ago there was either a complete lack of interest or even hostility from the council.

    This has now changed with a veteran member now spearheading that campaign.

    As more and more us talk up Warminster so new outlets appear. The next one I believe will be a dominos - not quite starbucks - but another good choice.

    In our chapter on youth issues we want the town council to set up a youth version of what they do with real money to spend on projects that 'angry youths' like you put forward.

    There is a role that your generation could play that may take me down memory lane to when I was a teenager!
    Get active yourselves. Get together and launch your own youth community campaign group with a cool name of your choosing.

    Then raise petitions, write letters, stand up and speak at meetings, make it clear that more needs to be done.

    The more noise you make then not only will public officials sit up and listen but perhaps those who run businesses who might think they could run somewhere for you to hang out away from alcohol maybe racing around on a go-kart at the same time.

    STEVE ADDS: Unlike most councillors both of us have teenage children and are a little bit more in touch with young people's aspirations. But even though our local councillors may seem ancient you'll find they do have a genuine interest in finding out what you really want.
    The only problem is a lack of communication. Why not get a group of you together and ask to see the Mayor around at Dewey House?
    Ideally I would like to see a facility like 'The Depot' in Andover made available in this town - see the link
    Unfortunately you may have to wait until some more can-do councillors are elected as, sadly, some here lack vision or much experience of what has been achieved in other areas by other more imaginative (and often Conservative) local councils.

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  273. THE END OF GREEN WASTE COLLECTIONS?Outrageous = we seem to be paying more for less primary services.
    Quote - "It's only for people too lazy to use a composter." Have you tried composting branches?!
    Quote by Steve Dancy "It's only for the well-heeled with big gardens." Thats's right, that's why bigger houses pay more Council Tax. What insidious Socialist rubbish - it's like saying schools are only for people with children etc. Look out for fly tipping of green waste if this comes in!
    We must stop this. what next - extra charges for general waste?

    Steve replies: Having grown up in a large property with a very large garden (Long Acre in Heytesbury) I'm afraid I do know a lot about green waste.
    Smaller suburban gardens can easily cope with composters but larger gardens, need something called a compost heap.
    I can't recall Warminster and Westbury RDC collecting green waste in the 1960s - the idea would have been laughed at as green waste is a useful product. There's no green wate collection in Devizes or Marlborough - so how do they manage?
    I'm afraid if people want this service they will have to pay for it. It isn't available elsewhere in Wiltshire and is one reason why our council taxes in West Wilts were always higher than those in Kennet and Salisbury Districts.
    The green bins were brought in here because some official mistakenly thought it was possible to mix green waste with cardboard - it isn't and the green bins are white elephants hardly used by most people.
    Sending out a large freighter lorry into our rural areas is also incredibly environmentally unfriendly. Sorry but we'll just have to differ on this point!
    Your point about education falls flat because education is an essential service while green waste collection is a frippery.
    FINALLY yes I do believe that those households that produce more waste should pay more than those that are careful and recycle everything - who should get a discount. The weighing of waste will come whether you like it or not as the EU is pushing it through. As for fly-tippers - a period behind bars would soon cure that.
    HOWEVER one point you make - about paying ever more for getting less and less rings true. I'm now paying almost 2,000 pounds a year on what used to be the called 'the rates'. Instead of collecting compost the council should look at collecting plastic and cardboard for recycling as this material does cause problems when fly-tipped.

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  274. Do you have any views on the suggested
    anaerobvic digester to be sited at Bore Hill Farm

    Paul writes:-
    It is an interesting and thought provoking proposal and the planning aspects of using a redundant farm are not new. We have already commented that we have to take an open-minded look at this. As I understand it the farm manure and slurry, and the waste that comes from local food processors, is put into a reception pit located inside a building. It is then passed through a bio filter that is located in the ventilation system that deals with the risk of odour. A mixing process then leads to its treatment by heating through several stages to a temperature that within a hour kills all viruses including foot and mouth and TB meaning that the fertiliser that is then available to farmers is safer.

    After this the next stage is the 'digestion' process located on site. The digesters will take two or three weeks during which time biogas is released in the form of methane which is then run through a de-sulphurisation unit and stored for use. In this case the resulting energy source would be used in on-site workshops providing employment. There are therefore many benefits to which can be its location just off the by-pass in a dip that can be well screened. There are concerns. Presumably as a farm at night it is quiet and if this implemented there will be a major increase in traffic movements. I would ask that these two issues are carefully examined. This is not new technology and has now been established for many years in the USA and now at many sites small and large across the UK. I am sure that our councillors will ask for reports on how these other operations have worked out before taking a decision or we will hold them to account.

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  275. As a small retailer in the town for several years now I've not been impressed by our Town Council. In fact it's hard not to believe they've got it in for us small local traders.

    One thing that has crossed my mind on several occassions is how attractive the hanging signs of Warminster are, particularly on the older buildings in George Street, the Marketplace, East Street etc... These evoke a truly old English feel to the town and are a real asset to the architecture and historic market town character of the place.

    I'd love to install a simple hanging sign for my shop too, but the cost of the planning application and the chances of being refused are extremely off putting. Particualrly with our Town Council and their rather strange ideas on how the retail area should look in the town.

    Why couldn't the Council offer small grants and a helping hand towards getting planning approval for local retailers to encourage more of these signs? It would go much further to making the town more attractive looking and to bringing in more business than many of the (much more expensive) 'improvements' they've made in recent years.

    ANSWER - Perhaps the signs would add character as you suggest. While the town council is often given a lot of stick it has more often been a highly paid council 'officer' based in Trowbridge who has come up with some of the strange ideas. Hopefully we can assume more powers here in Warminster so that we can improve the town in ways more acceptable to those who have to live here.

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  276. Many people may be aware Hillside hostel, Boreham Road is set to close later this year to make way for housing. May I put in a suggestion and you may know which strings to pull but inside the grounds of Hillside is a piece of useful basketball equipment/frame, that will probably be discarded. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea if it was offered to be placed in to Queensway park for the use of the local community. Surely it could be salvaged and put to good use. Maybe someone on Selwood or the Ciltshire Council would agree as Queensway is lacking in equipment for older children to participate in. A metal goal post that has stood the test of time. A zip wire would be nice along with a climbing frame that Fore street play Area can be proud to boost of. Also as a proper installed footpath which runs through Queensway park from Rock Lane to Boreham fields,surely there should be lighting columns erected to add to ones whereabouts and personal safety,football might then be played in the proper place for longer in the darker months and not in some lit up cul-de-sac on any part of the local streets/estates near by! Queensway park is an asset to all,so dont take it for granted.
    It has wide catchment area in Bishopstrow and Boreham.so please use it or lose it or they might still sneak Queensway into the Hillside housing development for ever!

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  277. Policing needs to improve drastically in some parts of warminster and further more anti social behaviour needs to be taken a lot more seriously abeit nationally it is the same everywhere. There seems to be a softly softly approach by Selwood Housing society in particular and they are not coming down hard enough on their disruptive tenants who cause constant misery for their neighbours who just want a peaceful life. Gathering evidence is fine but surely police involvment thus them informing selwood should be good enough to evict these parasites once and for all and not offer them another property. It is time to act! There are too many do gooders and it would be good for the book of human rights to be torn in two for these thugs. What about the Victims human rights in all of this?. It just sends out the wrong message that it is fine to laugh in the face of authority knowing for well they can do what they damn well like and get away with everything because once the police have come around to give them a slap on the wrist and gone away, they carry on where they had left off. It is just a frustrating issue many people have just given up hope of trying even phoning the police because evidence alone these days is not enough even the most serious reported crimes in the eyes of the cps!.
    What is your answer Steve or Paul?

    Steve's reply: You've raised a whole range of issues. Firstly I wouldn't blame the police on the ground as they can only go as far as they can within the law. Through my work I've known a large number of police officers in several counties over the years and often they are as frustrated as you sound. There are still a few (all too rare) who give the thugs a taste of their own medicine if they are physically attacked but in the days of the camera phone that isn't really much of a option. As for the CPS they need to be really sure of securing a conviction as taking a prosecution to crown court is a lengthy and expensive exercise. I'm not too well up with Selwood Housing but my experience of other housing associations is that they are often more interested in PR exercises and in pretending that everything is lovely than they are in the bad behaviour of tenants. Tenants were badly served by the LSVT process a few years ago.
    The answer? well one thing that seems to work in some areas is the community warden who has more time than police officers and PCSOs and can really get to know what is going on. They are police accredited and can help in securing prosecutions and they are usually good wintnesses (often ex-military). But will we get them in Wiltshire? - I doubt it as it is now run by a bunch of unimaginative bean counters who are likely to see a warden service as too expensive.

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  278. I attended the first Area Board meeting last night at Kingdown School and was disappointed that neither of you were there. Are you planning to go to a future meeting? Also are there to be any further meetings of the Vision for Warminster group? The ABM was quite interesting although following a false report in The Journal that the meeting had taken place the day before, there were very few members of the public there. However there were some good updates from the Defence person, police, Councillors and comment from the floor. It was a great disappointment that neither of you succeeded in the Election but well done and thanks for all the hard work and time you both put in. We are left with the same tired old faces with no new ideas.

    ANSWER: The meetings are to take place every two months and in an ideal world we would attend each one. However, unlike all our elected councillors we are employed and have jobs which often keep us busy until late in the evening. On this day Paul was working until 10pm while Steve had been in Winchester Crown Court most of the day and didn't arive back in Warminster until 7pm. "It was the hottest day of the year so far and I'm afraid the idea of a couple of pints at the Fox and Hounds was more attractive than the area board," said Steve. "I will certainly be attending the next one in September."
    We are already planning the way forward but some of our ideas are already being taken up by the authorites.

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  279. I am disappointed with you reaction to the redevelopment plans for Warminster. How do you know the majority of people don\'t want this? Have you done a survey? If so lets see the results! What is your vision - to allow Warminster to continue to decline? Please speak to the developers and you will realise they want to invest in out town and will address the issues raised at the recent planning meeting. Please note this plan does not result in a lossof parking spaces - this rumour must be corrected. If the town continues to decline we will have plenty of parking spaces. Please don\'t think that a supermarket on the Dents site is an answer to all our prayers because all it will mean is people will drive their-shop there - shop at Focus (Poor Cordens) and drive home. People do not walk anywhere these days if you offer what they want within 50yrds.

    STEVE'S ANSWER: As I wasn't successful at the election it is possible to comment on this application as I am not bound by Nolan rules. No survey has been done but it was quite clear during the election door-knocking that few people liked the idea of the library being demolished. Anyone with anything to do with Avenue school was up in arms about the development idea. In my opinion the problem with the town's shops is not a result of the physical layout of the shops but the lack of what economists call 'effective demand' in the resident population. We need to get well-heeled people to shop in Warminster to improve the shopping offer and to benefit everyone - Waitrose will do this. I'm also very keen to keep Dents in Warminster as they employ so many local people. By the way some people do still walk - especially better educated individuals.

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  280. hope you all enjoyed the first Wobble for warminster. To encourage the folk who set the event up, and to help ensure that it can be staged again, I would ask people to comment constructively in which ever way they can. The article in the Journal has been a great boost for us and the Wiltshire times will also give it exposure.

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  281. Gentleman

    Very very poor result, same old boring faces with a lack of understanding of the word pro-active, a gloomy day for Warminster indeed.
    I believe you were both robbed but I also believe that Vision For Warminster will continue to thrive.
    I was very happy to vote MacDonald yesterday and wish you all the best.

    I would just add that the councillor who won the seat in my ward has not visited either my home or my business, both in the same ward and I also have had no hint of promotional literature through my door over the last few weeks. If he could not be bothered to canvass, then I am of the opinion that he can not be bothered with the welfare of this town. Shame on him.

    Roland Daniels

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  282. Oh Mike Williams, how I agree. I have come to realise that there are more obese and foul-mouthed young women and obese and bullying men in Warminster than in any comparable small town in England. Sadly, I think towns are where these people live, villages are for the polite but hideously rich and there is nowhere left for the likes of us. I have some of the older boys living near me and they make my life a misery. BUT their mothers are worse.

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  283. Hi
    With much merriment I have read through the articles on the website. Having lived here now for 5 years and coming from a similarly deprived area in Cornwall, it strikes me that Warminster is rapidly becoming the epicentre of Broken Britain.
    > This was highlighted to me recently whilst walking through one of the estates on the Western side of town. A young over weight mother came out of her front door pushing a child’s buggy, with small incumbent strapped into it. Two other young boys ran out and started jumping around and laughing, presumably because of the excitement of going to school and being in the fresh air (I also realise that mum may have overdosed them on E numbers for breakfast!). Rummaging around in her pocket, mum finds a cigarette and places it into her mouth. With her Croydon face lift hairstyle she certainly looked ‘attractive’. Through the corner of her mouth she said loudly, clearly irritated by the boy’s behaviour “Damien (name changed) if you do not ‘effin come her and hold the ‘effin buggy while I light my ciggie I will ‘effin punch you!”
    > It struck me that your fantastic efforts to turn around Warminster are very in much in jeopardy whilst Damien et al have role models like their hideous mother. I have no doubt that in 12 years time Damien will be the father of at least 2 children by different mothers and drive a Citroen Saxo with huge exhaust pipes at speeds in excess of 60 mph in Fore Street, only slowing down to negotiate the ridiculous double parking night mare at the Weymouth Street end of it. Lets hope that he wraps himself around a tree so hideous Mother can tell us what a lovely son he is and insist on having a awful roadside memorial dedicated to him!

    Good Luck!

    ANSWER: Of course we have all come across these characters and we certainly have our fair share in this town.
    The issue of the state rewarding feckless behaviour has been around since the old poor laws dating back to Elizabethan times - they were revised in 1834 to create the Union workhouses designed to make life dreadfully tough for anyone who wanted benefits. No doubt some might like them to return. Locally we have very little influence in this area of social policy - although we might be able to influence issues issues of providing the children with wholesome free food and good male role models at school. If we can get the children to think they have a stake in the future of society then we have a chance of success.

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  284. WE went to Frome on saturday how refreshing was that.Quite a quaint market town I say and we enjoyed it very much. I have read hot topics of the day.on another issue having read B.Martineaus comments from mon 3rd nov 2008and I have to agree with him.The Athenaeum is a great asset and I do hope the trustees can bring in more acts,even to the point of bigger names and tribute acts for the cash needed to inject into the on going restoration fund.you only have to go to Fromes memorial theatre to see whats on with the likes of Freddie starr,Jim davidson,Richard digence,Jethro,Joe pasquale etc and i know Ken dodd is a regular there and his goal,to perform at every theatre in the land,so what a coupe that would be if he was invited to perform at the Ath.IT would be a sell out ten times over and im not kidding.I tried getting tickets to see him at the city hall,Salisburyfor friday 10th April and there were only a couple left right at the back!

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  285. I Just wish I had dicovered your web site much earlier. Warminster could be a great place if it were to move forward with the times,it can keep it\\\'s identity as a market town but living in the past is not an option anymore by those who are in authority.It must progress and blend in with a modernisation and regeneration programme to suit all people of all ages. There has been this feeling of doom and gloom over the year\\\'s like an apathetic curse which still hangs over this town and until that is lifted,it will surely be too late to save it from dying on it\\\'s feet if it isn\\\'t already the case. The need for more housing has to be balanced between having more businesses/employer\\\'s/job\\\'s to be had in the first place along with attracting leisure facilities such as ten pin bowling,quasar,ice rink and cinema. If other towns up and down the length of the country can or have done it why can\\\'t we?.There is no excuses!. I live in despair that i have to admit to shopping in Salisbury or Trowbridge where i know what i am looking for i will get,only last Saturday in the Shire\\\'s,Trowbridge you wouldn\\\'t think there was a credit crunch,what credit crunch?. The place was heaving with people getting in each other\\\'s way, it was plain ridiculous that we just had to leave. Ok Mr Angry has rambled on a bit but i needed to get this off my chest.Thank\\\'s for reading. Regard\\\'s Nick.

    ANSWER: Steve has already sent a response to Cllr Ridout's letter to the Journal, re the cinema. Hopefully it will be published on Thursday.

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  286. I hope this comment is appropriate and useful but not alarmist! On 14th January I was driving back from Sutton Veny to Warminster and hit a patch of black ice (before the bridge that crosses the by-pass) and hit a tree and am still recovering now. Since then I have discovered that other people have had bad experiences on the black ice on that patch of road, one lady even hitting the same tree and badly injured. It is particularly hazzardous during bad weather as it is a straight strecth of road with no speed limits.I have contacted the council but they say they do not grit B roads. I intend to pursue this, but what I would like to \\\'gently\\\' do is to make people aware that the stretch of road from Sutton Veny to Warminster before the by-pass bridge is potentially hazardous when there is the possibility of black ice around. There used to be a yellow grit box by the side of the road here but this has been removed. Why?

    ANSWER: Very sorry to hear about your accident Kate. You may remember that I lived in Sutton Veny for a while in the 1990s and can recall a couple of cars written off at the location you mention. I would have thought that all popular routes to schools should be salted as a matter of routine (they are in many counties.

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    ANSWER: We have plans for a mini-moto/karting site on land west of the town which will be revealed shortly. We understand that the ABRO site (now with a new acronym name) is significantly more busy than it has been for some time and that some fitters who were paid off a couple of years ago have been taken back on. Security is also being stepped up a grade from 1 April with armed guards and dogs on patrol once again

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  288. I would like to say that I see the new road/walkways in the town centre as a great improvement both visually, practically and socially.
    Why should cars and lorries, many speeding through the main street, take precedence over people\'s pleasure in walking around the town in safety and social enjoyment?
    Now we need desperately to fill the empty shops either as retail outlets or living accommodation and to fully support the plans of Waitrose.
    Warminster desperately needs some quality outlets and to pursue vigorously the abolition of the abominable displays such as the Factory shop has. There couldn\'t be a worse view on entering the main street.
    Why is it taking so long to achieve these reasonable improvements to our town?

    ANSWER: Our gripe hasn't been about the quality of the work but the length of time it has taken. They have used good quality products and it will look good when finished but it will be a whole year behind schedule when finished. We are also worried that at its most narrow point the road is too tight to accommodate two cars and a cyclist.
    We would like to see the wide pavements used to help revive the town centre by reghousing the market in the Market Place. What is certain that a Waitrose store would attract shoppers from a wide area as that business has a loyal fanbase who will travel to use its stores.

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  289. Young people in our community.
    You may be aware of the WCC\'s Youth Work Curriculum Framework \'Learning for life\' October 2007, which gives some direction. Also you will be aware of the February elections to the Wiltshire Assembly of Youth and the UK Youth Parliament, when Warminster\'s Emma Batchelor was elected for West Wiltshire. The Warminster Locality Young People\'s Issue Groups are designed to provide a local focus on youth issues. It is one of two groups in the Warminster & Westbury groups, of 8 in Wiltshire. They have a website www.sparksiteco.uk The Warminster Group has met once at the end of January this year, and their next meeting is on 26 March. The local Youth Development Officers, Ian Withers and Samantha Shore, are the co-ordinators of this date.

    ANSWER: Thanks for that Tim. We have covered the youth elections in the hot topics section and the Sparksite is impressive and is one of our website links. Thanks for informing us about the meeting on 26 March - much appreciated.

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  290. Having opened a new shop in warminster i am glad that the premises our not in the town centre. as the town centre is dying rapidly

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  291. Talking trees, the tree at the junction of Prestbury Drive and Boreham Road, opposite the Conservative club and on the right as you approach town is a specimen I have been unable to identify. It is evergreen, nearly always about to be or in flower and as far as I know unique in the town. simply, its a mystery, does anyone know the species?

    ANSWER: We have been told that the only unusual tree in that vicinity these days is an acacia tree. This tree is a native of the tropics. The area in question was the home of Major Oskar Teichman until 1959 and he had many global contacts. In the days before the development of Prestbury Drive in the mid 1960s this area was much more heavily wooded.

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  292. I was recently moaning at the total lack of flair and investigative zeal apparent in our local newspaper and suggesting a web based alternative when the person I was speaking to put me on to VFW. If this genuinely represents an opportunity for forward thinking without party political influence, I thoroughly endorse it. When recently involved with a local residents group I was impressed by the number of members who had email and computor skills. The time has come for an on-line news and opinion forum so good luck!

    ANSWER: Thanks for your positive comments. We certainly don't seek to be an alternative to the local newspapers as it is their job to report the news from all quarters, carry obits, births, marriages and deaths, pages of advertising, local sport, WI reports etc.
    Newspapers are a vital part of a healthy local democracy and we certainly won't be carrying paid for advertising. We have a non-party political vision of things that could be done to improve the town and the website is a good way of getting this vision across and getting feedback. Our hot topics are usually linked in some way to the vision chapters. Hopefully we can all work to improve the fortunes of the town.

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  293. The website is impressive- informative and simple to navigate through.

    I look at the empty shops as I have done for many years and continue to believe that many of them might be more usefully converted back to dwellings

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  294. I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the amount of rubbish that is all too obvious in Warminster. The majority of this rubbish is packaging, drink cans and the like thast is bought from the many takeaways in town and discarded on the way home. The area around Ash Walk and Dorothy walk is particulary bad, but so are many other areas. The answer is to fine people who are seen dropping litter in town, our community police could do this and no doubt be aided by our CCTV.

    ANSWER: Thanks for your comment. Litter is a subject we take very seriously and our views are covered in the chapter on 'Civic Pride' - I have lifted the section and pasted it below....

    'Tackling the scourge of litter
    We also need to address the issue of litter, which some communities in Hampshire have tackled with great success. Travel to Romsey and you’ll hardly see a scrap of litter.
    The council there has taken a strong line in enforcing the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 by imposing £60 fixed penalty notices on those who dare to throw even a fag end from a car window or drop a chip paper.
    After a period of education we need to adopt similar tactics.
    But we will never eradicate litter entirely and need look no further than Corsley and Chapmanslade to find another part of the solution. In these villages teams of community litter pickers make regular sweeps of the roadside.
    When an approach was made to Warminster Town Council’s annual meeting in 2007 about creating a network of litter wardens the councillors queued up to attack the idea with one councillor saying enough was already being done.
    Clearly he doesn’t know the town very well or never walks its streets as, despite the heroic efforts of our town centre litter man, some areas are overwhelmed by litter.'

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  295. What happening in our town ?
    Who is going to benefit from the \"improvements\" ? When iam old and infirm and need to use a mobility scooter perhaps I will appreciate the oversized pavements to look for a shop that is still trading, whilst undoubtebly beeing forced to breath the exhaust fumes created by traffic congestion. Why did we fight so hard for a bypass,and then redesign our town to reintroduce the traffic congestion we wanted rid off, CRAZY
    I struggle to see how this scheme benefits anybody!

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  296. I'm really impressed with your website, you make a lot of excellent points and (as a resident and small business owner in the town) I think it's great someone is standing up for this place. Warminster does have a lot of good points, but the place seems to be rapidly becoming another Westbury and that would be a crying shame. Personally I blame the Town Council who seem to have no interest in making the place somewhere anyone would want to live.

    Mike Statham

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  297. Most of your ideas and those of other people are worthy and interesting, although I do wonder how anyone can think the Christmas decoration tat is exciting. But is any of this going to help? Who is in charge? Who makes the decisions? Who enforces the decisions (ie to get the factory shop to get rid of all their advertising tat)? Who holds the purse strings? We do not need waffle but clear instructions as to whom to lobby to get anything done. Why did it not happen while you were councillors? Is it going to be any better now?

    ANSWER:You have asked a lot of questions - so we’ll try to answer them.
    The responsibility for enforcement of breaches of planning regulations in conservation areas lies with the officers of the district council. Enforcement action can however take years given the glacier like movements of our legal system. We would hope that the company could be made to see sense and get rid of the horrid windows asap.
    In fact a letter will be sent to the company this weekend and we’ll post their reply on-line. You are not the first person to contact us about the Factory Shop windows.
    Twenty years ago when we were campaigning for election the local employment landscape was quite different as businesses such as Clarks, Barclays Trust and 27 Command Workshop, as it was then, were still employing large numbers of people in the town helping to keep it alive.
    What makes next year so important is the arrival of the unitary authority and the new way of working through the area boards.
    The buck will stop with the four newly elected unitary councillors who will have the mandate to kick start projects and really get the town moving again. But these people must have vision, knowledge, expertise and experience. Anyone who would like a detailed copy of our action plan to stimulate the local economy should contact us.
    As for the Christmas lights - tat? We have to disagree. There is no doubt people make special trips to see our lights and they attract business. In 1990, if you recall, there were only a couple of strings of lights and it took the shine off Christmas for many.
    Why not attend the next meeting of the shadow area board in January?

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  298. This is a very innovative way of engaging with interested people.
    I wish you well with your endeavours for progress and change - it is a long difficult process, but if you win hearts and minds you'll be half way there.
    Good luck!
    Andrew Connolly

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  299. The Atheaneum should be helped in its mission to become a cultural centre for the town. The trustees are working well to bring more acts in, but the place should be buzzing every night of the week. If the Ath had more going on, then the trustees would quickly get more money for the essential restoration that they are working on. The town MUST support this important and historic venue.

    ANSWER: We totally agree that the Ath must succeed.
    But the building should not be limited mainly to events that appeal mostly to the more patrician elements in the community – to be successful entertainment must be for all residents.
    A similar sized 250 seat venue, which opened in Hampshire in 2006, included Jaqui Dankworth, Ralph McTell, Ed Byrne, Vagina Monologues, Whole Lotta Lead, Sue Perkins, Chas and Dave, Acoustic Fairport Convention, Punt and Dennis, Gordon Giltrap, Richard Digance and Sing-a-Long a Sound of music in its first winter of popular entertainment. This winter they have Bobby Davro, 4 Poofs and a Piano and pub landlord Al Murray.
    The last nationally known band to appear in Warminster was Blackfoot Sue on 18 May 1974 at the Assembly Hall.
    Frome’s Cheese and Grain venue goes from strength to strength and has shown what can be done.

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  300. Congratulations on an excellent website.
    Warminster has declined economically, visually and socially over the last 10 years, all these aspects are interdependant.Any project which can make a positive change for the future should be supported .

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  301. Congratulations on a well put together web site. I agree with everything that you have said and will look forward to reading comments of our counsellors if they decide to read everything that is mentioned.
    Traders in Warminster are in dire straits. The road works are a nightmare. At the council meetings at Dewey House prior to the start of the work, most of the local traders were opposed to the work being done and voiced our opinions - but it fell on deaf ears. The attitude of certain councellors was "Speak to the hand, the ears are not listening" Well our comments are coming true.
    Shoppers are not coming to Warminster as often, due to the road works and say that they'll return when it is completed - Whenever that will be. I certainly hope they will return.
    Your town needs you!!
    Thanks again.

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  302. This is a very constructive appraisal of the town with some interesting suggestions for ways to move forward.
    Warminster needs a boost, and the local community could very well be the ones to push.
    Maybe the town should put together a series of public meetings over the course of the year inviting Planning Officers, Councillors, Local Developers, Local Business people etc. to put their views and suggestions across for the town, and also to take suggestions too.

    The new Town Plan should be constructed by the people who are going to use it. Thats us, and we need to act now.

    Well done with the site.

    Simon Hill

    ANSWER: We're glad you like the site. The matter of community involvement in decision making will be looked at in later chapters of the vision. In some parts of Wiltshire there are already residents' forums facilitated every quarter by the local development trust. These are quite popular.

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  303. Why did you sit on the sidelines and watch it decay, why did you not get involved before now?

    ANSWER: This is a valid question and leaving aside family issues the main reason has been that there's hasn't been too much point being a local councillor for past 10 years. Councils have been stripped of powers and the way councils are now run means that elected members have almost no say unless they are members of the party political 'cabinet'.
    Things are about to change and new area boards coming as a result of the new unitary council will devolve executive functions down giving local elected members much more say, influence and responsibility. With the co-operation of the town council these boards have the potential to make a real difference.
    For more information read our comments story about the missing £8 million.
    Mind you things have got to such a state in Warminster that there would have been a temptation to come back even if the old system had been retained.

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  304. I welcome this interesting site and hope that you can begin to make a difference. I agree that we should not demonise our younsters, however there is alot of petty vandalism which causes a good deal of grief to the general populace and I for one am not inclined to intervene at 2.30am on a weekend night when the local noise brigade is jumping on cars and banging on front doors.We need more policing to help with this. Also the comments about our town hall are absolutely right, we should be able to take pride in a building like that. Is there a way anyone can think of to have a public "revamp campaign" Or am I off limits here?!!! Keep up the good work !

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  305. Good on you and the best of luck. I can\\\'t find anyhing to disagree with on your site . I particularly agree that people have lost respect for the police. It is a national problem caused by a toxic mixture of political correctness and a need to meet insane targets. It is made worse here by the lack of local policing.

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  306. Businesses won't come to a town with a backward looking council.

    The Town Hall is a disgrace, when it should be an asset and focal point of the town.

    Refusing planning permission to businesses who DO want to open in the town because they want to alter the shop front of an ugly building is madness! See the YMCA shop for details.

    The Three Horseshoes Mall is a mecca for anti-social behaviour now, which will only get worse.

    The 'improvements' are a fiasco. Where they have been completed already, all that's happening is people are now parking on the lovely wide pavements or in disabled spots to go and collect their dry cleaning or household items. Weymouth Street will be a danger to cross at the top as buses and HGV's (which still use the town regardless of limits) mount the pavement to get around the corner.

    The police do the best they can with VERY limited resources - but having to take people they've arrested to Melksham to then do the 3 hours of paperwork per person means they are out of the town for half their shift.

    We need people who aren't scared to speak out or get on the frontline occasionally - do an observer shift with the police or ambulance service to see how the town changes once all the policy makers are tucked up in their beds.

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  307. I agree with you , the town badly needs a professionally designed , funded , used !! , front end website representing Warminster Local Gov , Buisiness , Civic , etc .
    I for my part run a local internet forum www.warminster-forum.co.uk which in no way covers the above needs .
    It seems everyone is pulling in different directions so best of luck in getting more cohesion .

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  308. Good luck with site guys, some constructive comments below and on your other pages

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  309. Very pleased to see a website which gives one an opportunity to make positive comment on local affairs and I look forward to reading more in the future. I have to agree with much of what has so far appeared.
    To pick up on one point Grant Chamberlain makes, current housing policy for this region offers limited scope for housing development in Warminster in the short to mid-term future, many residents may not be aware of this. Although our councillors do seem to have recognised this issue, there is probably little hope that we will see more than a modest number of new homes being built in the town over the coming 10 years. I lay this problem at the door of previous administrations who often rejected attempts to build here.
    Trowbridge on the other hand has adopted a very enlightened and pro-active approach to attracting housing and commercial investment - hence the array of proposed new leisure facilities.
    As a town we must make our voice heard and we must positively encourage inward investment.
    Whilst we are unlikely to see an M & S in Warminster we can attract more housing. More housing is highly likely to attract more businesses. However this is not something that can happen overnight so we need to crack on and do something soon.
    Similarly on the commercial front we appear to have limited availability of land to create room for more businesses so unless we actively encourage the release of more land on the outskirts of the town we stand to lose out. As Government policy is more and more geared towards discouraging commuting we need to ensure we have a ready supply of homes for people to live in, and workplaces for them to work within the town so that builders will want to build here and companies will want to bring their business here too.
    Sounds simple but it will take time and a lot of effort, but if we want Warminster to flourish and prosper we all have a responsibility to support this approach.
    I welcome reading other people\\\'s comments.

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  310. Warminster needs a cinema to be built somewhere in town, i hope that the folk here will be able to perhaps help to make it happen someday.

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  311. You mention about the lack of employment within the town and I quote \"the rural buffer zone that now protects us from too much housing\".

    Surely if we as a town are to survive we must encourage the building of affordable housing not more retirement homes, young people need homes and if they can not get them here they will move away.

    The town council in my humble opinion, does not do much to encourage this, an example of this was Victoria Road, the old garage and lastly I believe as a town we do not make it easy for a business to trade, other towns give local incentives, why don\'t we?

    Why don\'t we have a town centre manager like Frome, they found the funding why can\'t we?


    Grant Chamberlain

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