Your news coverage
I found your website recently and noted the significantly one sided coverage of the proposal for an improved Town Hall. This may be solely down to who actually sends you contributions, but it is not presenting the actual status of public opinion on the whole issue.
As a resident of 23 years and with wide contacts throughout the community, it is very clear that there is very significant concern over the scale of this project. The concerns are over the scale of the plan, the competency of those proposing it, the failure to offer a sound business plan and most importantly, the apparent secretive methods being used for public and full council consultation. This is causing a lot of people a lot of worry as it will be the council tax payers who have to pay for it, long after the proposers have disappeared.
Marlborough has had its share of public official ‘vanity’ projects that have cost its residents and businesses dearly (look at the Pewsey bridge for example, which solved nothing for the Town’s traffic issues but cost business significantly and now has a brass plaque in praise of some local government’s official).
Of much more concern now is that the ‘grand design’ proposal has put the Town Council into disrepute. Council tax payers no longer know whether these people can be trusted to put the town before their own ambitions. I understand there is a ‘gang of four’ – your most regular contributors by all accounts – who appear to have engineered a situation where they can take such decisions without proper, auditable consultation or decision making processes.
From an external viewpoint, the council handling of this proposal appears to be a misappropriation of the offices which the local community have bestowed on people they thought they could trust to behave responsibly. The whole issue needs to be shut down and a study with more realistic, achievable goals developed.
The Council’s eyes are clearly off the ball, and the College appear not to have been slow to capitalise on this in snatching the Ivy House Hotel from our community’s use. Surely the main issue is keeping our High Street alive, not building an ivory tower at the end of it.
What are the Council planning to do to restore public confidence in them?