I WOULD like to thank the Marlborough Town Clerk for her detailed explanation of why the £23,746 grant earmarked for Marlborough’s Coopers Meadow playground stands unused three years later. Apparently this money was awarded three years ago as a community infrastructure contribution from a developer. Much to Marlborough Town Council’s shame it still languishes in Wiltshire Council’s holding account as it has not in three years requested its release.
Why is nobody explaining why this is? Surely the point is that this is free money given to the town that did not need to be extracted from the residents of the town in taxes. How can the councillors just leave this money with Wiltshire when the very play area it was destined for is in such a run-down and dilapidated state? It really beggars belief and one feels not very speedy or dynamic decision making by the town council.
I would like to make it clear that I in no way think this lack of action is in any way Mrs Parker’s making. She is a conscientious lady who is trying to defend her councillors. Town clerks do not make decisions, councillors do. Similarly the six new councillors that only joined May 2017 have had no part in this delay.
Coopers Meadow was given to the town as an amenity area; it belongs to the residents. So why has ARK (Action for the River Kennet) commandeered seventy five per cent of the central meadow for five sheep? When there is a primary school a few hundred yards away with 300 children who need room to run free? I also read in the council’s minutes that ARK has said it would be comfortable with a slight reduction in the grazing area. Why are five sheep being given better facilities than the children?
There are 83,000 sheep in Wiltshire. They are in fields on every road out of Marlborough a few minutes’ car ride away There are 2,000 children in Marlborough who need and deserve a larger state-of-the-art play ground. 
These children are our future so why, after three years of being awarded this money, has the town council done nothing with it?
Former Mayor of Marlborough