Questions raised by former town councillors: on rents - again, Cooper's Meadow sheep - again...and Edward Heath

Written by Tony Millett on .

Coopers Meadow: playground and sheep (a archive photo)Coopers Meadow: playground and sheep (a archive photo)Three former Marlborough Town Councillors raised questions at Monday's meeting of the Full Council (November 6).


Former Town Councillor and Town Mayor Marian Hannaford-Dobson asked why £23,500 of Section 106 money had not yet been used at Coopers Meadow to update and enlarge the play area.

"Coopers Meadow should be a flagship area for the town but it seems that the Council have given far more priority to the grazing of five sheep on the majority of the meadow rather than providing a much larger and improved multi aged play area for the children of the tow and the town's visitors."

Asked twice by the Mayor to get to her question, Mrs Hannaford-Dobson went on to compare Marlborough's response to play areas to that of Mildenhall - which has a far smaller budget.  

She got to her question:  "Do Marlborough Councillors seriously consider the grazing of five sheep more important than providing a multi aged play area to the residents and visitors of the Town?"   She then added:  "The meadow was acquired for the town as an amenity area, not as a free grazing area for a local farmer."

The Council's Town Clerk had already responded to Mrs Hannaford-Dobson's round robin email to councillors.  The Town Clerk reassured her that the 106 money was ring-fenced.

The Council want to make a proper job of the play area - which will need more money than the 106 sum:  "As discussed at the A&OS meeting on Monday, 30th October, our next move is to plan it out properly and cost things up. We are likely to apply for grant funding too to stretch that S106 money further."

The Town Clerk says the Council is working with Action for the River Kennet on plans - they do not want to impinge on the 'excellent conservation work that has been undertaken by them in the meadow'.

Former Town Councillor Richard Allen asked about rents charged on houses owned by the council.  He will receive a written reply.

Then former Town Councillor and Town Mayor, Margaret Rose asked the Wiltshire Police representative present at the meeting, PC Teresa Herbert, why, when police stations were being closed and house burglaries not investigated, they had spent £1.5million investigating Edward Heath "who has been dead for several years."

PC Herbert said, quietly, something to the effect that such questions were above her pay grade.  Mrs Rose asked her to pass the question on to her Inspector.   Who might find it above his pay grade too.  

PC Herbert did explain that the force investigated as many home burglaries as they could...   It is, of course, all a question of the reduced money from central Government - perhaps a question for Mrs Rose's MP.

Fact check: the costs of Wiltshire Police's investigation of Edward Heath have been paid by the Home Office.