Open letter to Marlborough Town Council regarding the ignored state of parts of the town

Written by Nigel Kerton on .


What does it take to get any action by Marlborough Town Council on the removal of the festering mess of accumulated grass cuttings to the immediate north of the Rugby Club under the hedge of the Victorian cemetery?

I and others have been expressing concern about this since before the 2013 elections and former Open Spaces chairman Rich Pitts made all sorts of promises to get this cleared but never delivered.

The rotting, stinking, piles of grass have turned into silage and at their base there are pools of noxious and very probably toxic liquor which in time will soak down into the aquifers that supply water not only for the River Kennet but also domestic taps.

The delay in addressing this issue positively is not dissimilar to the apparent lack of action by MTC over the cavities excavated by ARK in Stonebridge Water Meadow which create the risk of drowning for anyone who wanders off the adjacent public public footpath.  As a journalist I have reported on a number of drownings some of which have involved only a few inches of water...not four feet of water in sheer-sided pits.

Historically MTC has become known as a no-can-do council and the above two issues demonstrates this perfectly.

Is it not time that councillors, especially those on the open spaces committee, got off their butts and out of their warm committee room to take a look for themselves at what is going on around the town?  Those on the open spaces committee that are not able to do this for whatever reason should either seek a transfer to other more comfortable committees or resign from the council because they appear to be totally ineffective.

Perhaps because of the apathy in Marlborough and the fact that all of the current councillors have walked into their seats unopposed, or have been co-opted, that they have no election promises to live up to.

Take the old mill machinery moved out of the former Town Mill longer ago than most people can remember.  This was meant to have been erected as close as possible to the Town Mill site more than 20 years ago but still languishes in the Recreation Ground, exposed to the elements so that most of the wooden teeth of the gear wheels have rotted away.  Where are the mill stones that were rediscovered some ten or more years ago in the former garden behind NatWest Bank?

And whoever dreamed-up the idea of a working party to clear the old cemetery on January 28 just when the snowdrops are beginning to come out and the daffodils begin peeping through the ground.  Has no-one considered that it is probable that because this is a Victorian cemetery most of those daffodils and snowdrops are probably varieties 100 years or more old and to have people trampling over them will cause untold damage?

Come on Town Councillors, before you embark on prettying up the High Street for Britain in Bloom get a grip on the town and the many issues away from the town centre and the tourists that you all so conveniently overlook.

It had been hoped before last year's local elections that a new council might take a fresh look at the WHOLE of the town but clearly apathy crept in before any forward thinking.

I am sure I am not the only elector in Marlborough -- and one who is prepared to stand up and say I do my bit for the community -- who is concerned about the state of parts of the town.


Nigel Kerton