Parish to take on town council roles
‘Special relationship’ between two councils will see powers delegated to local level
FORGET about Britain and America’s ‘special relationship’ – there is a better example of teamwork closer to home.
Amersham Town Council will contract out some services to Gerrards Cross Parish Council and have the authorities’ “special relationship” to thank for the move.
From April 1, the councils will share services such as grass cutting, pavement weed control and minor traffic sign repairs, subject to a contract being signed.
The devolved services add to the tasks already carried out by the parish which is helped by an £8,000 annual grant from Buckinghamshire County Council. The other services the parish will carry out include trimming vegetation that is obstructing pavements and footpaths and the maintenance of rights of way.
The proposed move is part of the government’s localism policy, which aims to devolve powers to people, communities and councils.
The four-year contract aims to speed up the decision-making progress at the parish authority and get more work completed.
Chris Brown, chairman of Gerrards Cross Parish Council, said: “Thanks to our special relationship with the town council we have been in the privileged position of staying ahead.”
Mr Brown said part of the reason behind the move is the distance the county council is from Gerrards Cross: “Aylesbury is a long way away,” he said. “The biggest overhead is managing services and they are extremely short on cash.
“We can be much more successful now than we were when we were relying on the town council. We have much more control than before.”
He continued by saying the move will enable the parish council to control matters and “focus” on the issues affecting residents “rather than rely on an organisation far away from here”.
Mr Brown also said the move will mean work will be addressed “in a couple of weeks” as opposed to the current system, which causes delays.
“We needed to seize the opportunity while it was there,” added Mr Brown. “We would like to increase it as it gets things turned around more quickly.”
Amersham Town Council clerk Janet Wheeler said: “They have been very happy with the work we have done.
“It is entirely likely we will be extending the contract.
“We have a special working relationship,” she added.