‘No’ vote sees off town ‘upgrade’
Close result as parish council decides area should remain a village
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Others felt that the term parish council had become outdated and that Gerrards Cross, with a population of about 7,500 people, had become big enough to warrant being called a town.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.
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