We are concerned at the lack of interest being shown by Marlborough town councillors in what should be the greatest event of 2016, a traditional street party in the town centre for all children aged 11 and under.
There has been a long tradition in this town of using its famous wide High Street for children’s tea parties to celebrate major national events including Royal Weddings, Jubilees and other national celebrations.
We went along to a meeting of the full town council on Monday, March 7 and asked councillors what they were planning for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in June and it became apparent that apart from a Civic Service at which the 16 town councillors could show themselves off in their civic finery, nothing else had been considered.
Only three councillors showed any interest in holding a traditional High Street tea party, Lisa Farrell Alec Light and Justin Cook. The rest grimly kept their heads down and said nothing.
We think the outgoing mayor Margaret Rose should have initiated some sort of celebration plan well before her mayoral year ends so that the incoming mayor Noel Barrett-Morton could step into a leading role when he is sworn in on May 9.
It was agreed to hold a meeting on Tuesday last week to which all councillors were invited and only two intimated they would be unable to attend.
To our dismay just two councillors turned up, Lisa Farrell and the mayor elect who immediately announced he did not want to serve on any committee planning the town’s celebrations. The town council did not send any of its office staff to take minutes or give advice although Wiltshire Council liaison officer Andrew Jack attended to discuss issues including street closure.
We three have been involved in helping plan many street parties in Marlborough over the last four decades and have seen well over 1,000 children each time enjoying a traditional party in the town centre.
However for the most recent Royal Wedding (William and Kate in April 2011) a mediocre party for a few hundred children was held in a large tent in the Priory Gardens!
Do we just sit back and allow another Marlborough tradition to die because of a total lack of leadership from our elected councillors or is there sufficient support out there from townspeople and local organisations to muster up a committee to raise funds and give our younger children a day to remember for the rest of their lives?
Will YOU attend a public meeting and pledge your support? If so please leave your names and contact details in writing at the Town Council office, 5 High Street and marked Queen’s Birthday Celebration.
Nigel Kerton, Derek Smithers (ex-Mayor), Malcolm Ward