Vision For Warminster Says The Conservative Town Councillors Who Voted To Give £50,000 Of Taxpayers' Money To Warminster Community Radio Didn't Want A Press Release Issued About Their Generosity

Thursday 16th June 2016:

It seems that the Conservative councillors* on the Finance & Assets Committee of Warminster Town Council, who, last Monday evening (13th June 2016) voted to give £50,000 of taxpayers' money to Warminster Community Radio (WCR), didn't want a press release issued about their generosity.

The Vision for Warminster website reports:

Conservative Councillors sitting on Warminster Town Council are usually very keen for the staff to send out press releases giving them publicity. They also love appearing in 'grip and grin photos' for the press - all very commendable.

But when it was suggested by Vision For Warminster (VFW) that a press release be sent out letting everyone know how they are spending £50,000 of your  money on the radio station there was a chilly crackle in the air. They didn't want this - saying the press would contact them.

Just in case the press overlooked this issue we helpfully issued a press release:

Warminster Town Council has voted to provide Warminster Community Radio with a further £50,000 of funding over the next five years as part of a service agreement.

Radio Station managing director Barry Mole told the council’s finance and assets committee meeting on Monday evening, that the current agreement which provides the station with £12,601 a year ends next spring. He asked for ‘just £10,000 a year’ for the next five years.

A proposal moved by councillor George Jolley was supported by the committee’s five Conservatives but not by the two independent councillors Paul Batchelor and Steve Dancey.

Councillor Dancey, said: "When I tell people that we have been giving the station £12,600 a year for the past five years they are all amazed but now, when they hear we intend to extend the deal to 2022, there will be astonishment. I am annoyed that the decision taken today will tie the hands of councillors elected next May who may have more pressing priorities and may not wish to see so much money given to a radio station with so few listeners. In these times when the town council has lost tens of thousands of pounds of support grant from Wiltshire Council and when we need every penny as we assume responsibility for so many services abandoned by County Hall, to promise so much for so long is foolhardy. It is also an example of the same sort of arrogance displayed by these Tory councillors when they opted to push ahead with the civic centre project against the public will." 

*The town councillors (all conservatives) who were in favour of agreeing to WCR's request for £50,000 over the next five years, were Andrew Davis, Sue Fraser, Keith Humphries, George Jolley and Pip Ridout. The two Independent councillors on the Finance & Assets committee, who voted no, are Paul Batchelor and Steve Dancey.