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Town council big spenders will account in parish poll

(January 20, 2010)
A local council appears determined to abandon its rent free home at a cost of nearly £1.75 million which will take 25 years to repay.
 "Never in my fears about the future of the town council after the Tories voted to have six years in charge could I have imagined this happening," says former councillor Paul Macdonald
 "Warminster Town Council has never in its history incurred a debt of this magnitude as it admits it is dashing to beat the calling of the general election."
The Tories run the council which currently operates from Dewey House which was given to the town by a former councillor and local headmaster. "This effectively means that with no clear business plan about how to generate the income from the Assembly Rooms to cover the loan repayments they are now paying £70,000 rent a year.
"It is not even as though they have taken over a huge number of responsibilities from the district council when it was closed down."
In the plan they will close the Assembly Rooms in May for rebuilding as home to the town clerk, her staff and an office for the Mayor Tony Nicklin. The building was formerly under the control of West Wiltshire District Council but the town council stepped in to take it over.
It has been employing consultants to draw up plans for its refurbishment Exactly one year ago to the day reported on the problems facing the local councillors.
 'Warminster town Council is 'going round and round in circles' as it once again failed to take a decision over what it wanted to do with its home and civic centre, Dewey House and the Assembly Rooms' (hot topics - January 19th).
At the time Cllr. Pip Ridout said: 'The cost is beyond our means. It is pointless.' "I shall be interested in reading the report about the meeting last night," added Paul.
"As this is the first time in its history that this amount of borrowing is planned that it must also be justifiable to hold a parish poll for the first time in Warminster."
Steve Dancey added: ''To misquote Churchill - never in the field of Warminster history has it been decided that so many will owe so much by so few.
''Our poll proposal aims to redress the democratic deficit on this subject.''


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