Trying to rob villages of their jewels

IT is with dismay that I read the most recent city council minutes and find that members’ best idea for keeping their precept in order is not by careful management but by seeking to rob the neighbours and inflict the city budgetary dilemmas on the surrounding villages.

A statement by Cllr Froude (who lives outside the city in Hampton Park) suggests the city should expand to absorb all the new housing.

Why? Because we all pay less council tax than the city residents and yet use the facilities provided.

This was supported by the Mayor of Salisbury and now they think they are on to a winner.

Cllr Froude even suggested that we all think we already live in Salisbury.

He obviously has not read his own parish plan.

The first thing to say is that no parish can take over another parish or community without good reason.

Trying to rob them of their jewels and savings is not one of the criteria.

When one analyses the city ‘facilities’ we all use for free, it makes me wonder about value for money.

Of course we all shop in Salisbury, and love it. That’s a good thing for the city.

We shop in Southampton as well. Does that mean we get absorbed by them? No!

What about all the other villages and Wilton? They all come to Salisbury too. Be grateful.

So what would we get for our £105?

Our eventual trip to the crematorium (where we pay anyway), a trip to the Guildhall (which we pay to hire anyway) and access to the parks.

Everything else is provided by Wiltshire Council or the businesses.

Take my own parish - we have open country space, sports pitches, a community farm, our own airfield and museum, schools (which city kids love and are welcomed to) lots of country walks and bridleways to ride your horse.

Why would we swap all that for more concrete?

A city boundary engulfing Ford will concrete the lot.

There are no farms or countryside in the city.

My parish was formed in 1894, Salisbury in 2009.

Learn to live as good neighbours – city folk are welcome to use all our facilities – no charge.

Ian McLennan, Wiltshire Councillor Laverstock, Ford & Old Sarum

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