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Councillor Dancey Asks Why Warminster Town Council Needs A "Service Agreement" With A Radio Station ~ He Also Says The Difference Between A £50,000 "Gift" And A £50,000 "Service Agreement" Is Just Words ~ And Refers To What He Calls "A Clever Red Herring" In Warminster Town Council's Budget With Regard The £50,000 Cost Of The "Service Agreement" Between The Council And Warminster Community Radio

Wednesday 22nd March 2017:

After dannyhowell.net published a press release issued by Warminster Town Councillor Steve Dancey concerning a £50,000 "gift" by the Council to Warminster Community Radio: see http://www.dannyhowell.net/2017/03/councillor-steve-dancey-independent.html, we published a response from Veronica Mills, a member of Warminster Town Council staff, in which she said the £50,000 was not a gift but a service agreement. Veronica also wanted to let us know that Councillor Dancey's press release contained "several incorrect facts": http://www.dannyhowell.net/2017/03/50000-from-warminster-town-council-to.html

Councillor Dancey has contacted dannyhowell.net again. He writes ~

"If I may respond to Veronica's Mills' comment I would point out that four people voted in favour of my amendment - myself, Paul Macdonald, Paul Batchelor and Nick Dombkowski. Please contact them if you are in any doubt. That makes four NOT three."

"The difference between a gift and a service agreement is just words. They [Warminster Community Radio] get the money for very little. Calling it a service agreement is a way of [Warminster Town Council] overcoming its £2,000 limit on grants to outside bodies."

"Why does a small local council need a service agreement with a radio station? We  [Warminster Town Council] must be the only council in the United Kingdom that has such a thing in place."

"Finally - this is the only time this matter has been specifically on the agenda for a vote by the full town council. On Monday, the motion was lost by 6 votes to 4 with 3 members abstaining. THAT IS A FACT."

"If you could indulge me a little further. Veronica Mills mentions the opportunity to bring this matter up at the budget but of course this grant, sorry, "service agreement" runs for five years while the budget is set for just the next financial year. A clever red herring."

£50,000 From Warminster Town Council To Warminster Community Radio Is Not "A Gift" But "A Service Agreement" Says Veronica Mills

Wednesday 22nd March 2017:

Veronica Mills, a member of the Warminster Town Council staff, has responded to Councillor Steve Dancey's comments (published on www.dannyhowell.net yesterday) with regard "a £50,000 gift" from Warminster Town Council to Warminster Community Radio.

Veronica writes ~ 

"I notice you’ve published on your website a ‘press release’ from Councillor Dancey that is being sent to various organisations. Can I just let you know that it contains several incorrect facts."

"First, the £50,000 is not a gift to WCR but a service agreement for a period of 5 years (the duration of an Ofcom licence) for which WCR receives payment in return for a level of service to the Town Council and to the town in general. At the meeting on Monday the voting was 6 in favour, 3 against and 4 abstentions, the latter including 2 independents. It is incorrect that 4 members were in opposition."

"Second, the decision to enter into the agreement with WCR was made on 13th June 2016 by the Finance and Assets committee who supported it by 6 votes to 1. The vote on Monday was to approve the final piece of administration to sign the agreement which commences on 1st April. Full Council had ample opportunity to discuss this in January when the final budget proposals were put to them. However no member asked for any adjustments to be made and the budget was approved unanimously by Full Council with Cllr Dancey as the proposer. It is totally incorrect to say that the meeting on Monday was the first opportunity Full Council had had to discuss this."

"I hope you will take due consideration of the facts of this issue."

To read Councillor Steve Dancey's comments, click on: http://www.dannyhowell.net/2017/03/councillor-steve-dancey-independent.html

Councillor Steve Dancey (Independent) Says £50,000 Gift From Warminster Town Council To Warminster Community Radio Is Unfair

Tuesday 21st March 2017:

A press release issued by Warminster Town Councillor Steve Dancey: 

Warminster Town Council has voted narrowly to back proposals to gift £50,000 to Warminster Community Radio (WCR) over the next five years. 

At a meeting of the full Town Council held at Warminster Civic Centre on the evening of Monday 20th March 2017, six Conservative town councillors backed the proposal which was opposed by four independent members - while three members abstained.

The vote on Monday evening was the first opportunity for the full Town Council to discuss the proposal and means that the hands of the councillors who will be elected in May 2017 have now been tied on this issue.

Councillor Steve Dancey (Independent) moved a motion that the matter be delayed until the new councillors are in place so that they could take the decision about how the money is spent during their tenure.

Councillor Dancey said: “People can judge for themselves whether or not this is a good use of public money at a time of austerity. However, any right thinking person would think it proper that those elected in May take the decision about how the money should be spent in the years until 2022. My view is that there are better things to spend this money on."

Councillor Dancey added: "I also would question whether it is correct for public money to be used to support one local news media outlet to the tune of almost £200 a week for the next five years when traditional local news outlets, such as print media, are facing such huge financial challenges. The decision is very unfair.”


Veronica Mills, a member of staff at Warminster Town Council has replied to this press release issued by Councillor Dancey. To read Veronica's response click on: http://www.dannyhowell.net/2017/03/50000-from-warminster-town-council-to.html

Warminster Town Council Unanimously In Favour Of Longleat's Outline Planning Application For A Hotel, Conference Facilities, Water Park And Immersive Animal Experience On Land Near Tascroft Court And Cannimore, Warminster

Tuesday 14th March 2017:

Longleat’s plans for a 240-room hotel resort with a water park, conference facilities and an immersive animal experience were discussed by the Planning Advisory Committee of Warminster Town Council on Monday 13th March 2017. The hotel is to be located on land south and south east of Tascroft Court and north of the Cannimore track, Warminster. 

Geoffrey Wheating, speaking on behalf of Longleat, explained how the development would benefit the local community with the growth of local business providing more employment. The hotel will be a stand-alone facility, with the immersive animal experience being entirely separate from the Safari Park at Longleat.

Warminster Town Councillors welcomed the proposals but did have concerns over the potential increase in traffic in Victoria Road, West Street and Vicarage Street, Warminster. They supported the outline application unanimously but included comments to Wiltshire Council drawing attention to their concerns over the traffic issues.

"Closing Down" Notices In The Window Of Intersport Tony Pryce, Warminster

Thursday 9th March 2017:

 "Closing Down" 
notices in the window of Intersport Tony Pryce
at 24 Market Place, Warminster, BA12 9AN.

 Photographs taken by Danny Howell
on Thursday 9th March 2017.

Intersport Tony Pryce
telephone 01985 219014.

Warminster Civic Centre To Acquire A Defibrillator

Wednesday 8th March 2017:

Warminster Civic Centre To Acquire A Defibrillator

Several approaches have been made to Warminster Town Council over the past year suggesting it would be beneficial for defibrillators to be installed within the town and that one should be located at Warminster Civic Centre.

Having investigated the schemes available for the Civic Centre it was decided that entering into a four-year Memorandum of Understanding with the South Western Ambulance Service (SWAS) was the preferred option as SWAS would provide full back-up service for the running of the machine and annual defibrillator awareness sessions which will be open to the community. The Finance and Assets Committee voted unanimously in favour of going ahead with this option.

The scheme will cost £1,800 plus VAT for the four-year period and Friends of Warminster Hospital have offered to make a contribution towards the cost.

The town will need approximately ten machines for a full programme of coverage. Other sites to be considered should have a high footfall, cover a wide age range, have a suitable building for the defibrillator to be installed externally and be easily available to the public. SWAS will support the Council in identifying future sites should any further installations be considered.

Patrick Kaberia Muthaura At Warminster Civic Centre For A Fairtrade Celebration

Tuesday 8th March 2017: 

Warminster Civic Centre Welcomed Kenyan Patrick Kaberia Muthaura To Fairtrade Celebration 

Warminster has always taken part in Fairtrade Fortnight, having been a Fairtrade town for some years. As part of this year’s celebrations the Fairtrade Steering Committee organised an afternoon tea in the foyer of Warminster Civic Centre to which the Mayor and Councillors were invited to meet Patrick Kaberia Muthaura, a Fairtrade tea farmer from Kenya. The table was laden with cakes and biscuits made entirely from Fairtrade produce and Patrick was given a warm welcome by all present.

 A handshake between the Mayor of Warminster 
Councillor Paul Macfarlane and the guest of honour 
Patrick Kaberia Muthaura. 

Patrick is a member of the Michimikuru Tea Co-operative in Meru, Kenya, which has approximately 7,000 members. Caf├ędirect has been working with Michimikuru since 2005 and has supported them in becoming Fairtrade certified. Patrick was most enthusiastic in describing the benefits of this partnership to the co-operative and the environmental projects that are being undertaken by the community to ensure the sustainability of tea production and the livelihoods of the communities that live nearby.

 Patrick Kaberia Muthaura chats, over a cuppa,
with Warminster Town Councillor Sue Fraser. 

Patrick was fascinated by a display board that Judith Halls from Warminster Town Council had set up of memories from her early years in Nairobi when her father had worked for East African Airways. These included tourist publicity material of the area, old maps and photographs of Judith and her parents in Nairobi in the mid to late 1960s. Patrick told Judith how different the area is now and promised to send her some up to date images for her collection.

Brixton Deverill Roman Villa ~ An Illustrated Talk At St. John's Church, Hindon

Brixton Deverill Roman Villa
an illustrated talk
Dr David Roberts 
(of Historic England)
St. John's Church, Hindon, SP3 6DJ
Friday 10th March 2017.
Drinks and canapes at 6.00 p.m.
Talk commences at 6.30 p.m.
(Limited wheelchair access).

Built between AD175 and 220.
Untouched since its collapse.
Discovered 1,400 years later.

"The discovery of such an elaborate and 
extraordinarily well-preserved villa, 
unparalleled in recent years, became
national news, and gives us a perfect
opportunity to understand
Roman and post-Roman Britain."

Tickets £15
Vicky Macaskie (cash or cheque),
The Fonthill Estate Office,
The Old Dairy, Fonthill Bishop, SP3 5SH
Tor Beer (BACS, cheque or cash)
email: chickladelectures@gmail.com
telephone: 01747 820435

Proceeds to the restoration of Chicklade Church.

One Man And His Dog Watching The World Go By In Warminster

Wednesday 1st March 2017:

 One man and his dog, "watching the world go by" 
at the junction of Westbury Road, 
Elm Hill and Copheap Lane, Warminster.
Photograph taken by Danny Howell
on Wednesday 1st March 2017.