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The attack on democracy - town council spokesman says TC will move

(December 09, 2010)

LIKE many Warminster people we have been amazed and disgusted at the way some of our town councillors have tried to ignore the democratic town poll held earlier this year.

There was a decisive 92 per cent against the plans to move the town council HQ to the Assembly Rooms and yet some still try to foist this on us and even wasted thousands on a poorly executed and very leading consultation exercise.

''I even had to sit through a meeting and listen to cllr Humphries talk about 95 per cent confidence intervals as if he was a trained social scientist (he isn't) to try to justify the one-sided exercise,'' said Steve Dancey of VFW.

Now it seems someone has taken it upon themselves to be an unattributed 'council spokesman' and tell us that the move is implied. Who the hell are they and when was someone given the title of town council spokesman?

I wrote to the Warminster Journal to tell them I was a little confused after reading the reports in their august organ and to remind councillor Nicklin that he had promised to abide by the result of the parish poll - listen to him here.

(Strangely his words and the promise wasn't contained in the official minutes compiled by the town clerk, so our thanks go to Warminster web for taking the trouble to tape the event and for sending us a copy).

The Journal letter....

Dear Sirs,

After scanning your columns I was wondering if other readers are left confused about the town council’s plans for the Assembly Rooms.

In your front page lead of 29 October it was stated, in the story’s intro, that the council ‘had shelved its proposed £800,000 move to the Assembly Rooms’ – instead a less expensive option would be followed.

Yet in last week’s newspaper, buried away on page 16, a story called ‘Move will go ahead’ had an unattributed ‘council spokesman’ say ‘if we maintain Wiltshire Council’s wish for a hot desk then we have to be there (the Assembly Rooms) and work alongside them. It (the move) wasn’t discussed as part of the proposal last week but was implied.’

So there we have it, a mystery spokesman telling us what will happen by inference and implication.

How about a little openness and honesty?

How about abiding by the wishes of those who took part in the only openly democratic vote on this matter?

We have a recording of Tony Nicklin promising to abide by the democratic decision of the parish poll but now it seems some people want the council to sneak into the Assembly Rooms by the back door.


Steve Dancey

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