THE name of a Marlborough school was dragged into a debate on building a relationship with it at Monday night's town council meeting.

Cllr Noel Barrett-Morton clashed with the mayor Cllr Lisa Farrell when he said cannabis used in Priory Gardens was linked to pupils of St John's Academy.

The mayor said she had met with the new principal Ian Tucker at the school and planned a second meeting on March 1.

Cllr Barrett-Morton said: "I notice you have another meeting with him and that this time I hope you will be more vociferous over the drug problem in Priory Gardens. Young pupils are meeting a group of people who are perpetuating the whole thing."

Cllr Farrell said: "I don't like the way you are saying it's St John's pupils."

She said it was wrong to say that the school had a big problem and to link the pupils to Cllr Barrett-Morton's statement.

Earlier Sgt Pete Foster told the meeting a youth was stopped by police in the town for possession of cannabis and had been cautioned and referred to Motiv8 - the young people's drug and alcohol service.

Cllr Farrell said the new principal Ian Tucker at St John's was a listener and felt Cllr Barrett-Morton's comments about drugs were not welcome as his words would be reported.

She was supported by Cllr Guy Loosmore who said: "It is a new relationship we are trying to build and along with the new master at Marlborough College this is an interesting time."

He said it was important to be able to have difficult conversations with the school but in a balanced and responsible way. The council should be diplomatic and choose the right words when talking about the school at this time he said.

Cllr Farrell said: "At the next meeting with the principal we are going to include the police and others. We are not blaming anyone, saying they are taking drugs because we don't know."