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Infusion of cash into area boards

(October 01, 2009)
THOSE who champion a favourite local Warminster cause should quickly turn to the Wiltshire Council as nearly half of a performance grant from the government is being promised to their area boards after the local government shake-up.
Twenty local teams of the newly elected unitary councillors will share a say in £2.8 million but there are some pitfalls.
"The first snag to all this is that rather than each area board being allocated a fair share of this is that there is a really untidy bureaucracy," said former councillor Paul Macdonald.
Local people can apply for a portion of the windfall for local community projects through their area board.
However, once given the thumbs up by the area board, the ideas will be then go before a panel made up of people from local organisations.
Another watering down of the success is that the money is being spread over two to three years even though half is being given this year and half next.
"This will probably see the money dissipated to a series of small grants," added Paul.
"We have seen the Tories pat themselves on the back through the letters column of the Warminster Journal about the work of the town council in giving grants.
"This is the correct way as new local government organisation leaves them backing local groups annually following the demise of the district council.
"I hope local councillors on the much larger Wiltshire Council will see the way to arguing the case for this money being used to back a major capital project.
"Our vision for Warminster is not the only one for the town and its hinterland.
"Could the Town Hall restoration as a place of public activity and civic pride be a feather in the cap of our local councillors and the beleaguered government as a result of this money?"
*hot topics include more on ththe town hall and a link to another Wiltshire Town and what it has done with their town hall

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