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Town Councillors Sitting on their Hands Challenge

(June 20, 2020)

An unintended increased lockdown saw Warminster Town Council forced by technical problems that shut down their website to have no public access to their agenda for their next meeting on Monday.

It also saw the added difficulty of e-mails being bounced back for day after day last week.

An important meeting in their diary is when all councillors are summoned to attend the full sitting of the council that happens six times a year and will next take place on Monday.

“This is going to be a rubber stamp meeting of minutes and the future of working groups but sometimes a councillor stands up and proposes something positive,” said former councillor Paul Macdonald. “

“At this time I thought it was important to take a look but disappointment does not describe how I feel.”

“There are no positive initiatives being proposed by councillors.

"It almost seems as if they are sitting on their hands while getting on with what county hall want them to do holding those hands.”

The council now has membership of everything from the paddling pool in the town park to flood working groups as the sole decision that they have to make that evening by video link..

“I cannot believe that the first thing they did not do was form a working group to help our town to tackle the coronavirus pandemic," added Paul

"It should have happened months ago tjat they stepped up and gave a lead.

"This left the admirable Warminster Action Group, the foodbank, and many individuals like me to get stuck in," said Paul.

Amongst the working groups the Neighbourhood Plan Review working Group has a full contingent of three councillors and five co-opted members .

The replacement of the paddling pool will be of three councillors and two proposed ‘other reps’.

The Finance working group. which makes recommendations to the parent committee about the spending of money received from planning applications and the Dewey Trust, has just Couuncillor Pip Ridout proposed with no other councillors or public representatives.

Two working groups, including the CCTV committee, show that they do not allow or reveal their membership.

“The biggest surprise to me is the Climate Change working group,” said Paul.

“It only names three councillors, Brett, Nicklin and Jeffries, as members despite having held its first meeting earlier this year with local representatives.

“The full town council meeting will go ahead on Monday with no ’other reps’ on this working group.

"I urge those interested to put their names forward and ensure this issue is represented by those who can make an additional positive contribution.

“I hope that the times that all working group meetings are held are flexible to allow maximum attendance.”

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