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Area boards destined for the scrap heap?

(October 07, 2009)
THE Tories are now totally in charge of the new unitary Wiltshire Council which can grab all the money previously available to the scrapped district council but it is already raising local concerns.
After several practise runs leading up the the new look area boards what has it achieved, writes former Warminster district councillor Paul Macdonald
Chairman of the board Cllr Andrew Davis said: ‘’It was a very successful area board meeting with more than £10,000 given out in grants.
"It was great to see young people there getting involved, hearing about the repairs to the skate park."
The county press release goes on 'The meeting, which took place on Thursday (September 24) at Christ Church Hall, also included updates from Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue and the NHS.
'Young people, who attended the meeting, were also told that repairs to the skate park had been ordered.'
The meeting included words from a planning officer.
"This sort of press release is not good news for Warminster," claimed Paul. "I did not attend as the public had no opportunity to speak.
"There is a real doubt now that this has centralised decision making at another higher level and that the local area boards are just a publicity exercise.
"The millions of pounds that are going to be spent in Trowbridge will have very little allocated to Warminster decision makers.
"We have to be pleased that the local organisations that were first of the mark got their grants but if our local councillors will only have a say over money up to £1,000 what a waste of time.
"We might just as well scrap the area boards, save the money, and give it to the town councils to spend.
"I wonder how much this rather weak agenda meeting cost and why are area board meetings not discussing planning applications.
After all, parish councils are allowed to attend or have their representation reported in writing."
The date of the next Warminster Area Board meeting is November 26 at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

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