‘No’ vote sees off town ‘up­grade’

Close re­sult as parish coun­cil de­cides area should re­main a vil­lage

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A DE­BATE raged this week about whether a vil­lage should be­come a town – with a sug­ges­tion they should follow Scot­land and have their own ref­er­en­dum.

Dis­cus­sions took place at a Ger­rards Cross Parish Coun­cil meet­ing on Mon­day evening, when chair­man Chris Brown sug­gested the au­thor­ity should be­come a town coun­cil.

If this were to hap­pen, it would mean Ger­rards Cross would no longer be re­ferred to as a vil­lage.

The area would be known as a town, with a lo­cal mayor in­stead of a parish coun­cil chair­man, as is the case in Bea­cons­field, Amer­sham and Che­sham.

How­ever, the idea was re­jected by some coun­cil­lors, who felt peo­ple liv­ing in Ger­rards Cross would not want to say that they lived in a town. They felt the area should re­tain its sta­tus as a vil­lage.

Coun­cil­lor Nick Moss said: “I think that by do­ing it we are es­sen­tially ad­mit­ting that we have lost our vil­lage feel. I think it would be in­cred­i­bly un­pop­u­lar.”

He added: “I don’t want it to be a town. I want Ger­rards Cross to be a vil­lage. That is what it is.”

Oth­ers felt that the term parish coun­cil had be­come out­dated and that Ger­rards Cross, with a pop­u­la­tion of about 7,500 peo­ple, had be­come big enough to war­rant be­ing called a town.

Coun­cil­lor Hellen Orme said: “It is a step for­ward. Be­ing a parish coun­cil sounds old fash­ioned and gives the wrong im­pres­sion.”

She added: “It will still be the same place, it’s just a more grown-up ter­mi­nol­ogy.”

Re­fer­ring to to­day’s vote on in­de­pen­dence for Scot­land, Coun­cil­lor Jas­pal Ch­hokar said: “We should have our own ref­er­en­dum.”

Ger­rards Cross be­came a vil­lage in 1859, when its church parish was formed from parts of neigh­bour­ing parishes Chal­font St Peter, Ful­mer, Iver, Lan­g­ley Mar­ish and Up­ton.

The parish coun­cil even­tu­ally voted five to four in favour of re­main­ing as a vil­lage. Although there was some dis­cus­sion about whether to con­sult the pub­lic, this was deemed un­nec­es­sary as a vote had al­ready been car­ried out.

At the time of go­ing to press, a poll on our web­site, www.get­bucks.co.uk, showed that 67 per cent of those who voted be­lieve Ger­rards Cross should be­come a town.

What do you think? Email our let­ters page at buck­snews@trin­i­tysouth.co.uk.

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