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New town council to meet for first time - they're one councillor short

The first meeting of the new council will take place on Monday (May 22).  It will be made up of nine councillors who served on the last council and six councillors new to town council work.

Under the chairmanship of the new Town Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall, and with his Deputy, Councillor Lisa Farrell, the 'old guard' will be Councillors Peggy Dow, Bryan Castle, Nick Fogg, Andy Ross, Guy Loosmore, Alexander Kirk Wilson and Noel Barrett- Morton.

The 'new guard' are Susie Price, Peter Cairns, Mark Cooper, Harry Forbes, Edward Northeast and Andy Wilson.

In the run-up to the local elections, only fifteen nominations were received so no poll was necessary.  But that left one vacancy in the West Ward. 

At Monday's  meeting of the Full Council there will be a call for volunteers so that someone can be 'co-opted' onto the Council to represent residents in the West ward.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday, June 7.

To explain why they want to serve on the Council, volunteers will appear before the following Council meeting - in June - and a voted will be taken to select the additional councillor.

Because there was no election or electioneering, we do not know too much about the councillors of the 'new guard'.  We do, of course, know that Andy Wilson used to run the excellent Cosy Bean Cafe in Hillier's Yard.

Susie Price lives in Marlborough.  Edward Northeast lives in Great Bedwyn.  And Peter Cairns has taken a forensically careful look at Marlborough College's housing development plans.  And we know quite a lot about Harry Forbes.

Harry Forbes, who will be sitting on the Town Council as an Independent, is a first year student at Oxford University reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics - described recently in a national newspaper as 'the Oxford degree that runs Britain'. 

And courtesy a new series of video interviews with 'interesting and eccentric' students on the website of Oxford University's student newspaper Cherwell we can find out a bit more.

He apparently 'fought a duel' over the selection of his 'college wife' - this seems to be a weird freshers' tradition that has little to do with marriage.  He has a 'Vote Leave' poster on his wall.

He also reads Ayn Rand - the novelist who became the darling of right-wing laissez-faire capitalists.  She died in 1982 but has since influenced many libertarians and American conservatives.

Cherwell names him as a 'BNOC' - which stands for Big Name on Campus (a term borrowed from more recent universities that have campuses.)  He also likes Poland and would like to spend most of the summer there.

The Cherwell interview can be found here.

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