Town council candidates revealed for by-election clash next month
A Tory knight of the realm and an independent IT expert, as predicted by Marlborough News Online, are to clash in a by-election battle next month for a vacant seat on Marlborough town council.
The nominated Conservative is banker Sir Noel Barrett-Morton (pictured lower), who lives in Cromwell Court, in Marlborough High Street, and the independent is Tim Reenan (pictured above), from nearby Chantry Lane.
The Lib-Dems have decided not to contest the vacancy in West Ward, which was caused by the resignation of Tory councillor Martin Houlden, who left Marlborough in July to live and work in Bournemouth, Dorset.
The by-election – to be held on October 13 – is the second successive one for the town council caused by the resignation of a Conservative councillor.
Mr Reenan, 49, an IT professional with extensive experience working in key areas such as manufacturing and healthcare, grew up in Abingdon and with his wife, Jacky, made a conscious decision to move to Marlborough.
“We believe Marlborough offers a truly aspirational lifestyle combining an eclectic selection of shops, cafes and pubs with culturally rich events such as the autumn LitFest and the Marlborough Jazz Festival, for which I am a committee member,” he told Marlborough News Online.
As for the by-election, he added: “I will take my stance as a ordinary hard-working chap who will take a pragmatic approach to the decisions required by the town council.
“I do not suffer fools gladly and have no time for airy-fairy projects that waste time and money. I hope to be the first of some new blood into the town council that begins to deprecate some of the throwing-toys-out-of-the-cot nonsense that I have read about, in favour of some consensus.”
Sir Noel, who has attended a number of town council meetings, was not available to provide any information about himself or any views as to his by-election campaign.
What will be significant is that the Conservative group on the town council will not be able to continue to accuse the council of being the “high-spending authority” and support the claims made by some residents that the council is “incompetent, reckless and even dishonest”.
The allegations were made on the basis that the town council proposed to spend £1.2 million on improvements to Marlborough Town Hall without the complainants appreciating that the expenditure is to be spread over a period of years and that much of the cost comes from outside grants and other resources.
The town council’s overall budget is just £400,000, one of the smallest in Wiltshire, and its finances ended the last financial year £52,672 in the red compared with £125,555 a decade ago, while it currently has maintained reserves of £284,000.
Sir Noel, who is 67, later informed Marlborough News Online:
“I am married with one grown up daughter. I currently run my own financial services business and have worked in this industry for more than 20 years having previously had a long career in civil aviation.”
“I have lived close to Marlborough for the past 25 years and in the town itself for the past two years.”
He added: “Although I am standing as a Conservative candidate, I will welcome the opportunity to represent the people of Marlborough regardless of politics. We must think about the future prosperity of Marlborough whilst retaining it's unique charm and character and I believe that my background in business equips me to make a positive contribution"