In reply to Sylvia Card's letter of 16 December
Mrs Sylvia Card misses the point with her letter (letter to MNO of 16th December). Our Town Councillors are not in the Chamber to promote their own political views, but to work together as a corporate body to make decisions on behalf of the town. Perhaps not all are elected and that’s only because not enough candidates came forward for election but all followed the proper democratic process to have their seat around the table. Perhaps not all those Councillors always agree - there are some tough decisions - but decisions are debated and democratically made.
As Mayor, I have real admiration for our Councillors, all volunteers, all unpaid. They put in many hours work and give real service to our communities.
It’s interesting that Mrs Card focusses on the demise of the Children’s Centre, a county-wide decision that falls to Wiltshire Council. This was not on our meeting agenda for 14th December, the formal decision was actually made by Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet. However, the future use of the building currently used by Sure Start was discussed at the previous meeting, at which, incidentally, Mrs Card was present. No approach had been made to the Town Council on this issue. That said, Councillors, showing concern for the demise of the building, voted in favour of expressing an interest in taking it on from Wiltshire Council so it that remains with the community.
The work done by local campaigners was admirable and helped to secure the delivery of children’s services in the town even if that means they are not permanently based at the building in George Lane Car Park.
The Town Council has supported many local residents and their campaigns particularly with regard to development in the town and frequently makes representations on their behalf. We will continue to listen to our communities and urge them to come forward wherever they feel that it is important to draw an issue or concern to our attention. We will do what we can to listen and help to make sure it is properly followed through.
One further point. It was disappointing that more prominence was not given in the usually excellent reporting at MNO on the decisions that were made at the 14th December meeting – taking a joint project forward with the Area Board on establishing a Shopmobility Scheme for the disabled, moving ahead with another Civil War Re-enactment (along similar lines to the hugely successful event in 2014), support for Marlborough achieving status as a Fairtrade town. Most importantly, the precept (local council tax) was set for the year – a modest rise equating to an increase of £7.40 per year for the average Band D council tax payer. There were also updates on the success of the CCTV system, how things are moving forward with the long awaited Tennis Courts and the first meeting of our Youth Council. So, plenty of work going on.
Councillor Margaret Rose