townviewHot TOPICS town h clean 

Progress on the Town Hall - Civic Trust to secure building's future

(May 08, 2010)
THE 'stain on the town's heart' in Warminster is set to be restored as the well respected and experienced Civic Trust and the Preservation Trust joins forces to restore the Town Hall to its former glory.
 "This is the landmark building in the town," said Civic Trust chairman Michael Heaton.
 "It is entwined in the history of the town," Mr. Heaton told the annual general meeting last night.
"The building is looking particularly shabby.
 "It is a perfectly salvageable building. We have been inside. It is do-able."
 He explained that other towns had done it.
''It was the open forum meeting that said the Civic Trust should be dealing with it." explained Mr. Heaton.
"I would like us to have a general discussion.
 "Warminster Civic Trust should launch a public subscription campaign to buy it for a trust to look after."
 The history of the building was briefly outlined and the current valuation was put at 'around £350,000'.
 "Sounds a lot but a lot of you are living in a house worth more than that" said Mr. Heaton.
 "Look at what has been achieved by the Preservation Trust and Eliabeth Collyns."
 Since the open forum meeting last year the civic trust officers have been waiting to see what other organisations were doing.
 "The town council does not want anything to do with the town hall," said Cllr. Chris March.
"It is for us people to decide."
 The members raised questions about the work of the Warminster and Villages Development Trust.
They had been approached months ago after the open forum and at that time were looking into the issue.
 "We have waited and went to see them a fortnight ago," explained Mr. town h cleanHeaton.
 "Even before we could make a suggestion we had our heads ripped off by one their most vocal members!"
 Dewey House resonated to applause after one person rose to speak passionately,
 "I have recently returned to the town after 20 years away," said Victoria Coombes.
"I feel ashamed. The fact it has become such an eyesore is a disgrace.
 "I have three proposals. A meeting for the whole town to put suggestions. We form a Friends of the old town hall and the (Warminster people) website will back it."
 Cllr. Rob Fryer said 'remember negotiations with the receiver' but the meeting still went ahead to vote in favour of organising a public meeting
 'If that agrees then a public subscription scheme of pledges will be launched and the Victorian Society and the Lottery Heritage Fund and others will be approached,' was then successfully proposed with Cllr. Pip Ridout voicing her abstention.
 Paul Macdonald immediately put his hand up to catch the attention of the chairman and said.: "I pledge £100."
 This prompted several others to do the same.
 "Thank you," said Mr. Heaton. "George Jolley has already pledged £100."
*The words 'Town Hall a stain on the town's heart' are used in the Civic Pride section of the vision document on which launched the public outcry over the state of the building over two years ago.

Click here to return to the HOT TOPICS page