Nick Colbert and Colin Winder weigh into the debate on Wincanton’s future.

We are reprinting this post from Wincanton News and Views because it impossible to share it. Many Horsington residents will support this move to end the long running farce, which has been Wincanton Town Council for the past few years. And it might jolt SSDC, in its final death throes, to hold proper face to face meetings, rather than the deadening stultfying Zoom.

“Below is an email we have just sent to South Somerset District Council following their abject failure to achieve anything desirable for Wincanton. In short I have asked for the remaining budget to be passed to Wincanton Town Council so the money is not wasted on more nonsense. The money needs to be spent on things that are long lasting and of benefit to Wincanton and it’s people, not pushing more housing and reducing parking spaces.

“Dear Peter,

We are writing to you as the lead officer regarding the fiasco that is developing regarding the supposed “regeneration” of Wincanton.

The budget started off at £5.7 million pounds, this has since shrunk to £2.4 million, a cut of 58% whilst the District Council has increased the regeneration budgets in Chard and Yeovil, seemingly at Wincantons expense. We have been misled as to the reasons why, initially being told we didn’t know the difference between gross and net as though we didn’t understand basic finance. We were then told that despite it being made abundantly clear we wanted the Old Health Centre and the surrounding area regenerated as it forms the heart of Wincanton that £3 million had been allocated, with no authority from the elected members (Colin Winder and myself), towards a renovation of The White Horse. This was already being done by the owners and planning permission had been discussed for months providing the funds for its renovation. Then surprise surprise we were told that £3 million was being withdrawn from the budget as it was not needed for The White Horse. Clearly not true as The White Horse was under way privately and not in need of public funds, this appears to be a poor excuse to over halve Wincantons regeneration budget, it should also be noted that The White Horse still has had nothing done so if it was appropriate for that grant then it still is (but as we all know it never was).

Of the remaining £2.4 million left the District Council is trying to use it to fund events that should be directly funded by the District Council but instead of funding them they are attempting to take the monies from the regeneration budget, two recent examples being a grant to celebrate International Women’s Day and The Queens Platinum Jubilee, with both events it could be argued that the District Council should be adding its support but using the remaining regeneration budget to finance them is clearly inappropriate, even more since £3 million has been stripped from the budget.

Then, of course, the company employed to do the work in Yeovil and Wincanton, Midas Construction Ltd, has gone into liquidation. If proper due diligence had been done no doubt they would not have been given the contracts, companies don’t just go bust, their balance sheets tend to give you plenty of warning. Now we are told this work will have to be the tendered for again, as anyone involved in construction knows to re-tender for the work 2 years after the initial tender will result in about two thirds of the work actually being done for that sum of money given the rise in construction and material costs.

Many people in Wincanton expressed their beliefs that the District Council would fail to deliver anything meaningful or wanted in Wincanton (I note the Yeovil Refresh scheme has since been branded “Yeovil Depress” in the media). Despite the ward members requests that something meaningful should be delivered quickly to allay residents fears unfortunately they have been proved correct as all we can see is lots of money paying for officers time and consultants who’s main brief seems to have been pushing more housing into Wincanton and reducing the number of parking spaces.

Having discussed this fiasco between the Ward members we would suggest that all this money wasting is halted with immediate effect and that the £2.4 million is allocated to Wincanton Town Council to spend on projects that directly provide lasting improvements to the town and its people, to be agreed between the Town Council and Wincantons current District Ward Members and the two new Unitary Ward members, Lucy Trimnell and Tom Power.

The current proposals are not wanted and a waste of the money, Wincantons District members, Wincantons County members and Wincanton Town Council will have the interest in the town to ensure lasting meaningful achievements are made for the town.

We have a meeting on 24th May to discuss regeneration, I suggest this proposal is added to the agenda. We have little confidence in being able to attend the virtual meeting though as it is being held via Microsoft Teams meeting and so far every virtual meeting we have tried to attend via Microsoft has failed to work but this meeting is desperately needed.

I hope that everyone can see that the above proposal will allow Councillors directly elected by Wincanton people who all have Wincantons best interests at heart to ensure this money is not wasted, rather than Councillors in Yeovil and officers in Yeovil who have no direct interest in our Town, it is a great shame no-one listened to the requirements put forward by the locally elected Councillors in the first place.

Yours sincerely,

Councillors Nick Colbert and Colin Winder”

MPO Merry Widow opens to rave reviews

The sentiments in this review in the Fine Times Recorder have been independently confirmed by comments of other audience members.

Only 2 nights left!

http://www.theftr.co.uk/the-merry-widow-milborne-port-opera/

Merry Widow Opens tonight in Milborne Port

Milborne Port Opera’s production of Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” opens tonight in the Milborne Port Village Hall.

Dont miss this colourful musical treat, set in Paris, featuring some lovely music and singing, and the CanCan, danced by the exotic “Grisettes”.

Tickets are available on Friday and Saturday. Don’t miss this treat. Get out more!”

Book at www.mpopera.co.uk. Quick and painless.

Some standby by tickets available tonight on the door at a reduced price of !12.00.

Turn up and try your luck

Anthony While plays Danilo and Jessie Stones is Anna, The Merry Widow.

Wanted: Dog accommodation/sitters

Madge and Malcolm

Are there any people out there who will take these two in for a week in May while the owners are on holiday? They have never been in kennels before, and the owners don’t think this is a good option.

Madge is 10, her puppy Malcolm is 3. Impeccably behaved for a Jack Russell and a Jackapoo (or as impeccably behaved as these dogs could ever be).

If you think you can help, please telephone Libby on 07703271345 to discuss terms.

Too much gardening? Victoria has the answer

Is the sudden onset of spring causing your gardening muscles to suffer?

Step forward Victoria Woof, who runs Wincanton Sports massage.

She has sorted out your editor’s aches and pains (golf, beating, too much walking in London, back pain etc) for several months. She is charming, highly professional and knows what she is doing.

Hoghly reccommended.

The blog is always happy to give publicity to local individuals or businesses who provide exceptional service.. Please send you recommendations to the editor – editor@idnet.com

FOR SALE – 2500 LITRE OIL STORAGE TANK

Penny and Marcius, of cheesemaking fame, have moved over to ground source heating. As a consequence, their 2500 litre oil storage tank (Harlequin, plastic), is up for sale. Good working order, ready to transport away.

It’s currently on Ebay, and any offer over the current price will be accepted

Contact Penny Nagle

T: 07768 832954
email:  pennynagle@gmail.com


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Harlequin-2500-litre-single-skin-plastic-tank-Heating-Oil-Storage-Tank-/115306505312?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0

No politics? Prefer “Round the Horne”?

The last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, talk by Susan Maltin, March 25th.

If you are not going to the David Heathtalk in Horsington Church on Friday 25th March, why not find out more about going round Cape Horn in a sailing ship and come to the Wincanton History Society talk, also on Friday 25th March, at 7.30pm in the Balsam Centre in Wincanton

Imagine being are 200 feet above the sea, hanging on by your knees, furling a sail with a boiling sea below, seeing waves come towering up 60 feet high, black and formidable mountains of water with snarling toppling crests.  And this is after your living quarters have been full of water for days, you are wet through and cold, and there are huge hailstones being hurled at you, with danger of icebergs. This is the life of a sailor on Passat, as she approached Cape Horn. Susan Maltin’s talk will reveal all from her father’s diaries.

The sailing ship Passat

Don’t miss “Kinky Boots” at Yeovil

Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society (YAOS’s) production of” Kinky Boots”at the Octagon Theatre is a joyful triumph which will delight ladies, gentlemen, “and those who haven’t quite made up their minds” to quote from the show.

The performances and music are stunning, and the entire company works together seamlessly to produce a brilliant show, which received a standing ovation on Friday.

A much more competient review appears on the Fine Times Recorder

Don’t miss it. https://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/whats-on/all-shows/kinky-boots-yaos/8306 (book online).

The magnificent cast of” Kinky Boots”

“Merry Widow Box Office Opens

The box office for Milborne Port Opera’s “Merry Widow” is now open.

Performances 20-23 April (the week after Easter)You can book reserved seats on line at www.mpopera.co.uk, or at Wayne Pullen’s butchers shop in Milborne Port.

On line booking is a 3-click process. There are no cumbersome passwords, log ins, email verification and all that nonsense. All you need is an internet connection, a payment card and an email address.

You can follow MPO on Facebook

More reasons why Ukraine matters

We are indebted to racehorse trainer Kim Bailey for these facts about Ukraine:

Ukraine is an agricultural country:

1st in Europe in terms of arable land area;

3rd place in the world by the area of black soil (25% of world’s volume);

1st place in the world in exports of sunflower and sunflower oil;

2nd place in the world in barley production and 4th place in barley exports;

3rd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of corn in the world;

4th largest producer of potatoes in the world;

5th largest rye producer in the world;

5th place in the world in bee production (75,000 tons);

8th place in the world in wheat exports;

9th place in the world in the production of chicken eggs;

16th place in the world in cheese exports.

Ukraine can meet the food needs of 600 million people

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