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Town council wasting golden opportunity as well as money

(January 22, 2010)
WARMINSTER'S Town councillors seem intent on wasting good opportunities for finding value for money - as well as up to £2million as they press on with their wild and wayward plans for the Assembly rooms.
"I asked a construction company boss today with a track record of local government contracts 'off the record' the following question," said Paul Macdonald (Warminster Town and District Councillor 1991-95).
"If I came to you and said I had £800,000 cash to spend on a community project what could you give me?"
"A very nice house," he said jokingly. "Land?"
"I can supply the land," Paul replied. "How about a youth centre?"
"For that sort of money I could build two," he replied. "Don't forget we have the recession which means good deals can be struck and companies like this sort of work."
Visionforwarminster co-author Steve Dancey has already prosed two 'two purpose built activity centres at each end of the town with their own style and funky names to appeal to the young' as part of their document.
Warminster Town Council voted on Monday night to go to the public works loan board for £800,000 to fund the refurbishment of the assembly rooms to provide them with a new home, Mayoral parlour, dance floor and coffee shop (see hot topics this week).
"I think I proposed it. Yes, I think I did." said Andrew Davis after Paul asked him tonight as his local councillor whether he spoke in favour or against the idea.
If approved first by the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils and then the government the repayments over 25 years coupled with money already spent on consultants, loss of takings, potential setbacks and clawing back custom could cost £2million.
They have also agreed the first cash for consultants of £70,000
"How many teen shelters, safe crossings outside schools could that provide," added Paul.

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