Sad to report that tonight (Thurs 7 March) Shaftesbury Town councillors voted by 4 votes to 2 to reject Planet Shaftesbury's request for free use of the town hall for its monthly meetings.
For March and April the group will be charged 50 per cent of its normal £118 hire fee for a four-hour evening session - that's £59 for each session or £118 for the two months.
Two councillors - Tim Cook (LibDem) and Luke Kirton (Labour) - argued strongly for making an exception to the council's normal policy in view of the group's newness and 'the enormity' of the climate change issue. But four others - deputy mayor Lester Taylor (UKIP), mayor Piers Brown (Conservative), John Lewer and Jeanne Loader - voted against.
Their proposal was that the group must pay the 50% charity rate until the new council decides on the new fee structure after the 2 May elections on the grounds that no exception to the rule should be made in Planet Shaftesbury's case.
Again, council turnout was poor with only half the council of 12 who are meant to attend turning up. Apologies for absence came from Cllrs George Hall, Mark Jackson, Andy Perkins, and Philip Proctor.
Nothing was heard from Anthony Austin or Lauren Todd, neither of whom are believed to be standing again on 2 May.
It might be cheaper to meet at the Friends meeting house...