17 June 2009

A protester writes...........

A Muck&Brass fan sent in a cutting from the Western Gazette which is well worth reproducing here. The cutting is a letter published by the Western Gazette, probably sometime in 2006 and was written by a Somertonian, Judith Badman. The text of the letter reads as follows:

Hall decision a bad one
At the public meeting in July, I heard the Chairman of the Community Hall Feasibility Steering Group presenting the figures for halls around Somerton.

Small village populations of two to three hundred had built halls recently of the capacity of their populations or more.

Somerton's population is now around five thousand. Yet our town council has turned down the Steering Groups proposed hall for three hundred seated and a flexible design to accommodate the needs they have uncovered in their diligent researches, for a smaller hall, without separate rooms for smaller groups to meet, and which will hold fewer people for limited events.

Why did the Council set up a steering group? Did it ask the group questions about its research so that council members could be better informed to take a vote? How was the decision made and when?

As a council taxpayer willing to have backed financially the steering group's proposals, I am left feeling, at the least, most disappointed in our elected councillors.

I write in concern for our town.

Judith Badman.

Along with this cutting, Muck&Brass also received a front page article from the Western Gazette, probably from around the same time, which makes very interesting reading. The following is an extract from the article:

Members of the Town Council say it cannot afford to pay for a large hall, and that if it applies for Lottery Funding the building costs could spiral in the three or four years that it would take to receive the money.

Hindsight is a very perfect tool but it is worth considering what was happening in the darkest corner of the Bancombe Trading Estate during and immediately before the period in question. In 2001, AH Canvin bought land from the Chant family to add to the Bancombe Road trading Estate. In April of 2004 AH Canvin sold a parcel from that land to Edgar Builders who started construction of Unit 8 Cary Court. By the time of the meeting referred to in the piece noted above, the Tin Dunny was nearing completion and, were Muck&Brass to be really cynical, maybe discussions were already underway behind the scenes to put the Tin Dunny in pole position as the 'Community Hall'. Now, for that to happen, the Community Hall Steering Group would have to be ignored and, ultimately, disbanded. And isn't that just what happened? Spooky huh?

Till next time, may your cement truck go with you.