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Just seven days to decide on the Assembly Rooms

(April 16, 2010)
THE people of Warminster can look forward to little public debate about plans to drag the town into debt in order to salvage a white elephant building - The Assembly Rooms.

 There are just  seven days and counting towards the referendum about the town council raising a £800,000 (£1.3m with interest) megaloan to finance these ill thought out  proposals.
"Everyone I have told today immediately raised their eyebrows at the news that the parish poll will take place next Thursday for five hours," explained Paul Macdonald.
Paul was one of the ten electors successfully requesting a town wide consultation through the ballot box after a petition submitted by resident Alan Shepherd was accepted by Mayor Tony Nicklin. 
Wiltshire Council are organising the poll which will see every elector on the register for the general election in Warminster given a vote but they must report to the Assembly Rooms next Thursday (22nd April).
The Assembly Hall (re-named Rooms) is the key question.
"The timing will be a subject for debate at a later time as it really makes a mockery of the point of holding a parish poll," said Paul.
"What is important now is that we do not have 25 days that I was hoping for the town council to make their case and the Warminster public to then give their opinion through the ballot box.
"I am fed up with being accused of being political when my decades of of community politics have seen me put decision making at the lowest possible level first.
"It is now that the public need to rouse themselves to the opportunities that those of us who independently scrutinise our civic leaders' activities present them with.
"This is now next week's issue which will be a benchmark which will give us the public the chance to rescue the future.
"It is now not just about this 'megaloan' now but also about the whole future of the town with the threatened car parking charges by the same councillors.
"That will impact on our town centre vitality after the years of 'Improvement' disruption and at the same time those councillors are proposing hundreds upon hundreds of extra houses which will unbalance the town to the west.''

Steve Dancey who proposed the question for the poll said: ''I'm very surprised they are rushing this through as other parish votes in other counties are being held over until 27 May because of the General Election.
''I'm sure intelligent readers will draw their own conclusions as to why this is being punted through at speed - I'm sure we will still win but the sad thing is not every voter will be able to take part because they don't know it is happen.

'It shows a lack of respect for democracy.
''It is something of a problem at Wiltshire Council. It is something I noticed at the count for Wiltshire council last year - the guy who was running the count in Trowbridge (Carlton Brand) was running the show  with about as much dignity as if he was announcing the running order in a bus station.

''I wasn't impressed.''

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