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Councillos and mayor at war with their own townsfolk

(March 12, 2010)
THE Mayor of Warminster has been stung into action directing his venom at campaigners who are questioning the right of the town council to change tack over the funding of plans in part to create a more comfortable home for his town council.
The Wiltshire Times is carrying his personal response to a campaign for a referendum that was started by two locals but is now being taken up more and more by residents.
"I am welcome the Mayor taking the gloves off and revealing more to the public about what is going on," says Paul Macdonald.
"If the town council win the parish poll over their plans to borrow £800,000 at a disputed cost of seven figures rather than the original ideas then it will be a real feather in their cap."
Mayor Slams Campaigners
The Wiltshire Times reports that 'Cllr Nicklin believes the former councillors’ campaign is merely political and their facts are wrong'.
“This organisation is misrepresenting and are doing this for political reasons - they disagree with what the town council is doing," Cllr. Nicklin is quoted as saying.

“Everybody has the right to disagree and everybody has the right to come to the council and say that they don’t agree with what they are doing, but they are disagreeing with something we haven’t even agreed on.
“We go out to tender this month and at the end of April we will know whether we are on budget - we are looking at a figure of £800,000 for the works, but that’s the only figure put before the town council, who have agreed for further investigations," he goes on.

“The loan to the Public Works Loan Board has not yet been submitted.”
The mayor also said the town council has been transparent with regards to the proposed plans.

“The plans were created in the summer last year and have been on exhibition since September in Dewey House and Assembly Rooms,” he said.
“There’s nothing secret about what we’re proposing.
“You can’t drag people to council meetings but the agendas are available to the public," Cllr. Nicklin also told the Wiltshire Times 
Paul Responds
"My response to all that is that the plans are not the problem wherever they are on display," replies Paul. "My problem was the shock of discovering how much was budgetted and how they were going to pay for it."
"If we had not been following what the council were up to using the Internet this would have been rubber-stamped. Who walks to Dewey House each week to look at the latest agenda displayed on the wall outside?"
"As for you 'can't drag people to council meetings' this is such a departure from normal town council activity in Warminster much more should have been done to make them aware.
"The debate is well and truly underway now and as a believer in their being a great wealth of knowledge in our community I look forward to it.
"The people won't need dragging to council meetings now!"
*The Wiltshire Times is on sale at just 65p and has a website where you can comment on this story. The Warminster Journal has a story about Alan Shepherd presenting the request for the Parish Poll to the Mayor

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