Almost three years ago Marlborough Town Council were given S106 grant money of £23,500.00 to improve Coopers Meadow Play Area in the Town. I was a Town Councillor at that time and tried many times to get the Council to enlarge and refurbished this dilapidated play area with this grant money. Unfortunately I was always voted down mostly because it seemed that the majority of the Councillors felt that five sheep needed the majority of the land to graze. Although there are only five sheep they are given 75% of the central meadow while the children’s play area is crammed into a small area at one end of the meadow.
Since leaving the Council I have written to all the Marlborough Town Councillors individually to remind them that they had this money for three years and to ask what has been done with it and when the play area will be enlarged and refurbished. None replied, although the Town Clerk did reply to say the money had been ring fenced and the Council would be working on it.
Finally feeling very fed up because of lack of progress or response I went to the full Town Council meeting to put a question to the Council asking why they had done nothing with this grant money for the last three years. The Mayor unfortunately interrupted me more than once before I could explain the reason for my question and I had to asked him to be allowed to continue.
The Town Council have had this money for three years, why have they secreted it in their coffers and done nothing with it? This is not their money, it is a grant that was given to refurbish Coopers Meadow play area. There is a lobby of Town Councillors that seem more concerned with the needs of grazing a local farmers five sheep in the meadow than getting on with supplying a quality play area for the many children of the town. It would seem that this is the sole reason for the three year delay and total lack of progress to implement any changes what so ever to the play area to date. I am calling to the Council put the children of the town before the needs of five sheep. Stop cramming our children into one small corner of Coopers Meadow as if you are ashamed of them.
Former Mayor and resident of Marlborough