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Spin doctors needed to revive dead in the water Assembly Rooms idea

(January 29, 2010)

Warminster councillors who having outraged their community with a crazy plan for the Assembly Rooms may now have to bring in professional spin doctors - at extra cost. 

 An inter-committee request could see a publicity campaign launched after a loan costing at least £1.5million has been applied for to abandon rent free Dewey House to move into the assembly rooms.

 A planning meeting on Monday asked the Communications Committee to 'consider preparing publicity regarding the plans for change of use of part of existing building to form offices and Council Chamber for Warminster Town Council'.

 Cllr. Tony Field will chair the meeting (Monday 1st February) and will be asking his colleagues 'if this publicity would be suited to input from Miles Elwell'.

 "I am amazed," said former councillor Paul Macdonald. "If my colleagues and I ever took a decision we stood up for ourselves without using others.

 "After weeks and weeks of everyone from the Mayor down being quoted week in week out in the Warminster Journal why now does it need a committee to organise a response to public concern?"

 Paul is co-author of which has called for a modernisation of how the town council works. He was the first to expose the true costs of the £800,000 loan.

 "When we called for a modern makeover for the own council as part of our vision on our website we were pleased they responded with the idea of a communications committee," said Paul..

 "We thought it would take forward the idea of a modern website to attract local, national and international interest.

 "A new approach to involving the public. So far this is limited to an advert of the dates in the very local press of the dates of meetings.

 "If this is now going to become a PR machine for councillors defending their decisions then it will be a disgrace if yet more of our money will be added to cost that reach two million to achieve their aims."

 Another vfw proposal (which the Mayor is working on) is a youth council 'given a proper budget of say £10,000'.

 "I just wonder if we are going to borrow £400,000 followed by another £400,000 would I trust young people with a good scheme for one lot," argues Paul.

 "Then those including Steve and myself trying to bring the town hall back into civic use with the other.

 "They would not need a publicity machine to spin that to the public.."

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