Angry Cirencester residents want vote on Market Plan

CIRENCESTER residents have reacted angrily to revelations that the town council cannot afford to pull out of controversial plans for a £1.4m Market Place scheme.

Last week’s Standard reported that Cirencester Town Council resisted calls for a referendum on the project because it could not afford for the public to vote against it.

CTC’s chief executive officer Andrew Tubb told the council at last month’s meeting that a £60,000 grant would need to be paid back if the scheme was scrapped now, which would put the council in a "seriously dangerous financial position."

However, Mr Tubb has since admitted the council is yet to receive the £60,000 funding from a local trust, but was banking on it to cover council money already spent on design and planning.

He said: “We are expecting a cheque within this financial year.”

He accepted that his previous statement to councillors may appear to have been misleading but was “mentioned in the context of real financial challenges ahead for the council.”

"If only five per cent of the electorate turned out and said no, is that democratic or is that a real gauge of what people think?"

Cirencester Town Council chief executive officer Andrew Tubb, on the merits of a referendum

Readers have reacted angrily to the situation.

Priory Close resident Roger Onslow said: "It is totally outrageous that this situation has been allowed to develop. They need to do what should have been done at the outset: consult the public."

Thomas Silver, of Chesterton Park, agreed. "They would rather spend a further million pounds and more to continue their scheme, than have the courage to put a hold on the plan and not throw good money after bad," he said.

Commenting online, ‘Union Man’ gave his support for a referendum.

"It is an outrage to go ahead with a proposal the majority of people don’t want just because some grants have to be repaid if the proposal doesn’t happen."

Mr Tubb told the Standard that a new Market Place was something that residents and politicians have wanted for more than 20 years.

“There’s always been support for the scheme and for change, which is why we’ve taken the lead on it,” he said.

He added that once planning permission was granted, the council would have a five-year window to find funding for the estimated £1.4m project.

An online poll by the Standard on a Market Place referendum found 60 per cent of readers were in favour of it.

CTC’s chief executive Andrew Tubb said the town council would not call a referendum because it could cost around £12,000 and was unlikely to be democratic.

“If only five per cent of the electorate turned out and said no, is that democratic or is that a real gauge of what people think? It’s just that people who don’t like the scheme came out and voted,” he said.

“What is the value and benefit of that? What judgement does the town council make based on that information?”

  • Do you want to see a referendum on the Market Place? Cast your vote on the homepage.

Comments (19)

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7:14am Thu 7 Feb 13

Tomdog says...

Just get on and do the job it's been needed for years all these hand wringers moaning and groaning the improvement is needed. As for a referendum waste of our money and who would turnout to vote. Come on give us a modern Market Place that Cirencester needs.
Just get on and do the job it's been needed for years all these hand wringers moaning and groaning the improvement is needed. As for a referendum waste of our money and who would turnout to vote. Come on give us a modern Market Place that Cirencester needs. Tomdog

8:25am Thu 7 Feb 13

Council Taxpayer says...

Cirencester comprehensively rejected the Tories at the last local elections so we now see vindictive members of that party intent on destroying the town by standing in the way of much needed progress.
Union Man, who is a leading member of the ruling Tory administration at CDC and doesn't even live in Cirencester should search his conscience.
He and his out-of-town cronies at CDC are currently strangling the last signs of life out of the Cirencester economy with a crazy parking policy that is making obscene profits at the expense of local shops which are seeing their customers driven away.
By all means have a local referendum on the market plan but common sense dictates that it must be widened to cover the overall wellbeing of the town. Therefore, it must allow local taxpayers to vote on what they consider to be a reasonable level of charges for car parking.
Democracy only works if it is open, fair and devoid of petty prejudices.
Cirencester comprehensively rejected the Tories at the last local elections so we now see vindictive members of that party intent on destroying the town by standing in the way of much needed progress. Union Man, who is a leading member of the ruling Tory administration at CDC and doesn't even live in Cirencester should search his conscience. He and his out-of-town cronies at CDC are currently strangling the last signs of life out of the Cirencester economy with a crazy parking policy that is making obscene profits at the expense of local shops which are seeing their customers driven away. By all means have a local referendum on the market plan but common sense dictates that it must be widened to cover the overall wellbeing of the town. Therefore, it must allow local taxpayers to vote on what they consider to be a reasonable level of charges for car parking. Democracy only works if it is open, fair and devoid of petty prejudices. Council Taxpayer

8:30am Thu 7 Feb 13

Steeple says...

Well said Tomdog.
Well said Tomdog. Steeple

9:45am Thu 7 Feb 13

Marymore says...

Yes I agree with Tomdog. I would also love to know how 'union man' knows that the majority of people don't want the scheme. I certainly do want it to go ahead. Just get on with it
Yes I agree with Tomdog. I would also love to know how 'union man' knows that the majority of people don't want the scheme. I certainly do want it to go ahead. Just get on with it Marymore

12:44pm Thu 7 Feb 13

stephen3219 says...

“If only five per cent of the electorate turned out and said no, is that democratic or is that a real gauge of what people think?

This "5%",is a number that Tubb has plucked out of the air".Even if 1% voted it would still be democracy in motion, i.e. the 1% that cared.Maybe the Tory coalition should use that stance and scrap the next general election as they think only 5% of the population will bother to vote.
I have heard of many an excuse from politicians and councillors in the past , but this has to be a first.
“If only five per cent of the electorate turned out and said no, is that democratic or is that a real gauge of what people think? This "5%",is a number that Tubb has plucked out of the air".Even if 1% voted it would still be democracy in motion, i.e. the 1% that cared.Maybe the Tory coalition should use that stance and scrap the next general election as they think only 5% of the population will bother to vote. I have heard of many an excuse from politicians and councillors in the past , but this has to be a first. stephen3219

1:27pm Thu 7 Feb 13

David Broad says...

This whole business of what the majority want can be resolved by a Parish Referendum or Parish Poll.
Any 6 electors can requisition a Town (Parish) Meeting or can wait until the Annual one on April 16th, and demand a vote such as "The Market Place redevelopment should be stopped." If after the vote is taken among those present 10 or more electors demand it then a Parish Poll has to take place and every (Cirencester) elector has the chance to cast their vote.
It is democracy and is from Para 15 of Schedule 12 of the 1972 Local Government Act. and is statutory, neither Town Council nor Clerk can refuse to hold it.
This whole business of what the majority want can be resolved by a Parish Referendum or Parish Poll. Any 6 electors can requisition a Town (Parish) Meeting or can wait until the Annual one on April 16th, and demand a vote such as "The Market Place redevelopment should be stopped." If after the vote is taken among those present 10 or more electors demand it then a Parish Poll has to take place and every (Cirencester) elector has the chance to cast their vote. It is democracy and is from Para 15 of Schedule 12 of the 1972 Local Government Act. and is statutory, neither Town Council nor Clerk can refuse to hold it. David Broad

3:29pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Cotswold Lad says...

Considering that one of the long established stall holders at the Farmers' Market has now given up, due to the lack of action by the Town Council to make the market work better, the tiem is right to look at some short-term, cheaper alternatives. Even if the Architects get their fingers out it will be many months before the plans are submitted and way into 2014 before the work commences. Meanwhile both the Farmers' Market and the regular market are left to struggle. Personally, I'm just not sure that spending a whopping £1.6m of taxpayers money on such a scheme is the best use of the funds.
Considering that one of the long established stall holders at the Farmers' Market has now given up, due to the lack of action by the Town Council to make the market work better, the tiem is right to look at some short-term, cheaper alternatives. Even if the Architects get their fingers out it will be many months before the plans are submitted and way into 2014 before the work commences. Meanwhile both the Farmers' Market and the regular market are left to struggle. Personally, I'm just not sure that spending a whopping £1.6m of taxpayers money on such a scheme is the best use of the funds. Cotswold Lad

5:18pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Pentheus says...

In the political world no idiot holds a referendum if you know what the outcome will be and that outcome is against your interest.

e.g T blair, G Brown, N Clegg,
D Cameron

and before any of the blue party get out of their shorts and say not true our leader has promised a referendum no he hasnt . Its got more strings attached to it than an Australian hat with corks on it.....

Democracy is dead in England , Blair killed it , Brown buried it and Cameron tends the grave...
In the political world no idiot holds a referendum if you know what the outcome will be and that outcome is against your interest. e.g T blair, G Brown, N Clegg, D Cameron and before any of the blue party get out of their shorts and say not true our leader has promised a referendum no he hasnt . Its got more strings attached to it than an Australian hat with corks on it..... Democracy is dead in England , Blair killed it , Brown buried it and Cameron tends the grave... Pentheus

6:13pm Thu 7 Feb 13

David Broad says...

Democracy is alive and well Pentheus, if Cirencester people want a referendum they can have one through the Parish Meeting and Parish Poll route, We had one about disposal of Parish Land at Chedworth in 2010, called for by a member of the public not a Councillor, Cirenceter can start the ball rolling now, any 10 electors can force one. Electors not Politicians.
Democracy is alive and well Pentheus, if Cirencester people want a referendum they can have one through the Parish Meeting and Parish Poll route, We had one about disposal of Parish Land at Chedworth in 2010, called for by a member of the public not a Councillor, Cirenceter can start the ball rolling now, any 10 electors can force one. Electors not Politicians. David Broad

6:13pm Thu 7 Feb 13

David Broad says...

Democracy is alive and well Pentheus, if Cirencester people want a referendum they can have one through the Parish Meeting and Parish Poll route, We had one about disposal of Parish Land at Chedworth in 2010, called for by a member of the public not a Councillor, Cirenceter can start the ball rolling now, any 10 electors can force one. Electors not Politicians.
Democracy is alive and well Pentheus, if Cirencester people want a referendum they can have one through the Parish Meeting and Parish Poll route, We had one about disposal of Parish Land at Chedworth in 2010, called for by a member of the public not a Councillor, Cirenceter can start the ball rolling now, any 10 electors can force one. Electors not Politicians. David Broad

10:00pm Thu 7 Feb 13

watchman_28 says...

I agree with Tomdog!
Hooray for Tomdog!
Tomdog for mayor!
I agree with Tomdog! Hooray for Tomdog! Tomdog for mayor! watchman_28

8:37am Fri 8 Feb 13

Iansky says...

We do need a Mayor with personality & drive, our current one has the charisma of a sultana and at the last meeting where the public were allowed to attend (Corn Hall to discuss Parking proposal), he was totally subserviant and could hardly be heard even with a microphone.
This is the second time he has attempted to address a group and failed miserably due to being too quiet and having no personality - please get someone who is not just a figurehead but has balls and personality!
As long as we have people like this, we will never get the right things for Cirencester Town, only the things the out of Town cabinet members want.
Get the Market Place sorted, get the parking sorted bring life and business back into Ciren before it is too late.
We do need a Mayor with personality & drive, our current one has the charisma of a sultana and at the last meeting where the public were allowed to attend (Corn Hall to discuss Parking proposal), he was totally subserviant and could hardly be heard even with a microphone. This is the second time he has attempted to address a group and failed miserably due to being too quiet and having no personality - please get someone who is not just a figurehead but has balls and personality! As long as we have people like this, we will never get the right things for Cirencester Town, only the things the out of Town cabinet members want. Get the Market Place sorted, get the parking sorted bring life and business back into Ciren before it is too late. Iansky

10:04am Fri 8 Feb 13

Shop Owner says...

If the scheme is going to cost in excess of 1.4 million then a referendum would cost less than 1%. Let the people have their say.
I for one would like to know how the Town Council will fund this scheme and is this really the best use of tax payers money in the current economic climate.
I can think of many other priorities for this money including lowering parking charges, improving cutting of verges / roundabouts on the approach to Cirencester and gritting roads and pavements so people can actually get into the Town Centre.
If the scheme is going to cost in excess of 1.4 million then a referendum would cost less than 1%. Let the people have their say. I for one would like to know how the Town Council will fund this scheme and is this really the best use of tax payers money in the current economic climate. I can think of many other priorities for this money including lowering parking charges, improving cutting of verges / roundabouts on the approach to Cirencester and gritting roads and pavements so people can actually get into the Town Centre. Shop Owner

10:06am Fri 8 Feb 13

Shop Owner says...

If the scheme is going to cost in excess of 1.4 million then a referendum would cost less than 1%. Let the people have their say.
I for one would like to know how the Town Council will fund this scheme and is this really the best use of tax payers money in the current economic climate.
I can think of many other priorities for this money including lowering parking charges, improving cutting of verges / roundabouts on the approach to Cirencester and gritting roads and pavements so people can actually get into the Town Centre.
If the scheme is going to cost in excess of 1.4 million then a referendum would cost less than 1%. Let the people have their say. I for one would like to know how the Town Council will fund this scheme and is this really the best use of tax payers money in the current economic climate. I can think of many other priorities for this money including lowering parking charges, improving cutting of verges / roundabouts on the approach to Cirencester and gritting roads and pavements so people can actually get into the Town Centre. Shop Owner

5:24pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Pentheus says...

Dear Mr Broad I am glad you feel democracy is alive and well

Conservative David Cameron leader confirms U-turn on his 'cast iron guarantee' that a Tory government would hold a public vote on the controversial treaty...
November 2009.....

A prediction, the Market Sq development will not be the subject of
a referendum , it should be but it wont..referendums are the enemy of politics.....
Dear Mr Broad I am glad you feel democracy is alive and well Conservative David Cameron leader confirms U-turn on his 'cast iron guarantee' that a Tory government would hold a public vote on the controversial treaty... November 2009..... A prediction, the Market Sq development will not be the subject of a referendum , it should be but it wont..referendums are the enemy of politics..... Pentheus

6:30pm Fri 8 Feb 13

MR DOBBY says...

GET RID OF TUBB AND WE WILL SAVE A LOT OF MONEY
HE MUST NOW HAVE A REFERENDUM AFTER STANDARD VOTE AND WE KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN
GET RID OF TUBB AND WE WILL SAVE A LOT OF MONEY HE MUST NOW HAVE A REFERENDUM AFTER STANDARD VOTE AND WE KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN MR DOBBY

4:44pm Sat 9 Feb 13

Armstrong-Smith says...

I agree with Iansky. I was at the parking meeting and Andrew Lichnowski was weak and awkward when faced with the public, Andrew Tubb is clearly his puppet master. Andrew Lichnowski has let these flawed market place plans slip under his nose. We need a strong mayor who won't take and messing. Joe Harris has stood up for us in regard to on-street parking and called for a referendum on these plans. He's demonstrated that he can stand up to Andrew Tubb - seems like the best man for the job!
I agree with Iansky. I was at the parking meeting and Andrew Lichnowski was weak and awkward when faced with the public, Andrew Tubb is clearly his puppet master. Andrew Lichnowski has let these flawed market place plans slip under his nose. We need a strong mayor who won't take and messing. Joe Harris has stood up for us in regard to on-street parking and called for a referendum on these plans. He's demonstrated that he can stand up to Andrew Tubb - seems like the best man for the job! Armstrong-Smith

7:53pm Sat 9 Feb 13

Good Karma says...

I agree with TomDog! So many negative moaners and groaners who have their own agendas to push and nothing of real value to contribute. Our lovely town desperately needs some improvements and the marketplace plans will be such a positive step forward. It's taken decades to obtain the necessary funding - let's not cause further delays and unnecessary cost.
I agree with TomDog! So many negative moaners and groaners who have their own agendas to push and nothing of real value to contribute. Our lovely town desperately needs some improvements and the marketplace plans will be such a positive step forward. It's taken decades to obtain the necessary funding - let's not cause further delays and unnecessary cost. Good Karma

12:12pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Victoria Luckie says...

I think we need a referendum over such a serious issue. They could do one on parking options and the Christmas Market at the same time to save costs.
I think we need a referendum over such a serious issue. They could do one on parking options and the Christmas Market at the same time to save costs. Victoria Luckie

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