townviewHot TOPICS town h clean 

Councillors and guests enjoyed Assemly Rooms civic slap up

(August 03, 2011)
YOUR elected councillors made good use of the benighted Assembly Rooms in Warminster before it closed by holding a civic slap up on the rates last September.
At the mayor's civic reception on 3 September last year 140 specially invited guests enjoyed hospitality at your expense.
Vision for Warminster's combing of the council's accounts reveals that the 140 covers were priced at £20  a head giving a total bill to be paid to caterers of £3,290  when VAT was included.
On top of this there was a charge to another company for floral arrangements.
The council didn't even keep the money in the town but paid out to Sweet Pea Catering of Melksham to do the work. Don't we have any catering companies closer to home?
''At a time when we are supposed to be 'all in it together' and tightening our belts, we find that the civic scoffers locally have been feeding their faces at our expense and no doubt letting out theirs,'' said Steve Dancey of VFW. belt
''This nonsensical civic roundabout of towns throwing receptions for all the mayors/invited guests from other towns and past mayors has got to stop.
''Warminster should not even have a mayor - it is a rural market town not a London borough so it should be headed by a chairman who stays in post for several years, providing continuity and a steer for the council. They'll be wearing wigs and gowns next if some get their way.
''No doubt our representatives feel obliged to gad around the county to other town receptions - great if they do, but can they do it at their own expense and not charge 60p a mile or whatever it is some parish councils pay.''
The civic reception never became a responsibility of vfw co-author Paul Macdonald who chose to be deputy Mayor in favour of Anne Coventry at the request of Joan Main when the time came in 1994.

"If I had been mayor that year I was going to ask each of us 12 councillors to rally our families around the event and do the whole shebang ourselves and submit receipts," he said.

"So many of us councillors back then had family members with a real ability to cover all that was needed to provide not just the covers on the tables but friends that could provide entertainment too.

"My mother went onto be a welcome sight at West Wiltshire Housing Society meetings with her fairy cakes!
"It was one idea I kept to myself during me apprenticeship as a councillor. Older and wiser now I would say this is the way forward."
We understand that the current mayor is committed to keeping spending on such matters at a modest level - we hope she succeeds.

Click here to return to the HOT TOPICS page