I NOTE with some concern the letter from Mrs Val Compton (December 7) when she explains that sheep and a genuine meadow in Coopers Meadow is vital to the education for the young in Marlborough. 
What she fails to explain is that Savernake Forest, with 4,500 acres of woodland and meadow, is freely available within a 15-minute walk of the town centre. The forest, with thousands of years of ecology in place, not to mention herds of wild deer, is a magical place for young families and the not so young and has always welcomed the people of Marlborough. Unlike Coopers Meadow, it is not fenced off with its gates padlocked to keep the children away from the sheep.
I would also like to point out that 15 acres of land at Stonebridge Meadow, a few hundred yards up the road from Coopers Meadow, are owned 51 per cent by the town council and 49 per cent by ARK, and have been kept entirely for environmental purposes. 
It has no play equipment, picnic area or seating for the public. What I am pointing to here is environmental overload. The young need to be free to run, play ball, the dog walkers need space to exercise their animals, the elderly need space just to sit and look at the river. 
There is little enough green space within any town but what there is should be kept for local people to have access to exercise and have a playing space. 
Local politicians, when toting for votes, promise to look after the best interest of taxpaying residents of the town, not fence them out of their own land or hand over that land to another organisation to run as they see fit. They should certainly not hand over grazing rights to farmers who are not tax paying residents of the town for free.
At the parish meeting of April 2015 the minutes record that Mrs Compton asked this question of the Mayor. She said she had noted in the Mayor’s February blog that the Mayor put forward the idea of a trim trail, picnic tables and enhanced play area for Coopers Meadow. 
She then went on to say that she was concerned that council tax money would be spent on Coopers Meadow based on the ideas recruited by the Mayor. Very easy to see where Mrs Compton’s loyalties lay. I was that Mayor and had fought for two years to get town councillors to do something in the meadow to enhance it for the people of the town.
So come on Marlborough Town Council show what you are really made of and for once put the people of the town first, give them and their children a larger enhanced playground that we all can be proud of and keep the sheep in farmer’s fields where they belong.
Former Mayor of Marlborough