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Community group tasked with shaping Thatcham's future is disbanded

Lack of support and 'political interference' being blamed

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

Contact:

01635 886632

Community group tasked with shaping Thatcham's future is disbanded

A COMMUNITY group looking at the future of Thatcham has been disbanded – but its work may continue. 

Members voted unanimously to dissolve the Thatcham Vision steering group at an extraordinary meeting recently.

Thatcham Vision chairman David Conquest said: “It was a sad decision, but they recognised that the lack of ongoing support, particularly of members who live in Thatcham, made it the best option.” 

The steering group oversaw the implementation of the Thatcham Vision Parish Plan, which identified improvements for the town.

It also applied for funding to support the actions and projects in the plan and facilitated activities and events.

Among its success was the formation of the Thatcham Sports Network, Thatcham Film Nights, Thatcham Volunteer Fair and the Thatcham Vision Youth Club.

However, a combination of a lack of volunteers and funding, along with political interference, led to the steering group’s dissolution. 

Speaking at a meeting in July, Mr Conquest said that volunteers either no longer lived in Thatcham or were suffering from ill-health.

And he added that it had been “difficult” to look after remaining volunteers and attract new ones without a community officer. 

In addition to this, a bid to form a charitable incorporated organisation to attract funding had been rejected. 

However, Mr Conquest said that some of Thatcham Vision’s action groups may continue and that discussions as to how this could happen are ongoing with Thatcham Town Council.

The steering group also thanked all previous members and volunteers of the group, who, over the last 12 years, had put in “many hours work, skills and dedication”.

A public meeting to allocate the remaining funds in the steering group’s account will be held at 7.30pm in the Thatcham Town Council chamber on September 28.

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