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Grovelands: Town council should run play areas

(March 08, 2009)
Visionforwarminster's play strategy calls for play areas to be controlled, owned and run locally from Warminster along with other services which could be run more efficiently locally.
WE HAVE been taken to task by local sitting councillors for daring to hold them to account for what has happened at Grovelands play area in Warminster.

Now they want to involve the district council chief executive in their attempt to maintain their weakening grip on the tiller in this town.

They say the comments are ‘clearly a disgraceful attempt to try and (sic) score political points over a matter in which politics should play no part.’

Is the cost, arrangement and delivery of an important publicly funded service not a matter for political debate ? We think so.

“I think some members of the district council are too blinkered for the job and fail to understand what we mean and require from a Warminster Play Strategy,” said former councillor Steve Dancey.

“In many other parts of the country, including parts of Wiltshire, the play areas are controlled and owned by the town or parish council, often gifted to them through section 106 agreements involving developers.

“These councils sometimes run car parks, public conveniences as well.

“Providing adequate play is vitally important and we would like Warminster to have its own strategy and take on the control and running of the play areas as part of this.

“If other towns can do this why can’t we?

“Part of our vision involves a much wider role for the town council as we want to bring power and responsibility back to the town after 35 years’ colonial rule from Trowbridge.

“This will make it less easy for buck-passing councillors to blame disasters on other people.

“It would also be far cheaper as the town council will run things at about a third of the cost of larger councils as they don’t have to pay the notorious ‘recharges between departments’. This is an accountancy euphemism for ‘loading the cost of our top-heavy bureaucracy onto public services’.

“Under our proposals each town councillor would be given a portfolio and expected to prepare reports on their subject area at regular intervals.”

Our comments are not party political - is not a political party - and we would be equally tough on out of touch Lib-Dem, Labour, UKIP or Green councillors.

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