WEL­COME TO THE TOWN

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Jack­_84_A­bell

GER­RARDS CROSS is set to be re­clas­si­fied as a town in­stead of a vil­lage fol­low­ing a vote this week.

Coun­cil­lors dis­cussed the is­sue again on Mon­day and voted in favour of be­com­ing a town coun­cil rather than a par­ish coun­cil.

It will mean that from Jan­uary 1 next year, par­ish coun­cil chair­man Chris Brown will be­come a mayor, and that the area will no longer be re­ferred to as a vil­lage.

Coun­cil­lors voted on the is­sue in Septem­ber last year, with four out of the seven who voted opt­ing for Ger­rards Cross to re­main a vil­lage.

How­ever, fol­low­ing a num­ber of changes in the coun­cil make-up, the vote was held again at a meet­ing on Mon­day evening, with all bar one coun­cil­lor, Pe­ter Grimes, vot­ing in favour of it.

It will bring Ger­rards Cross in line with other nearby towns such as Bea­cons­field, Amer­sham and Che­sham, all of which have may­ors.

Coun­cil chair­man Mr Brown said he be­lieves that be­ing called a town more ac­cu­rately re­flects the area.

He said: “It’s been on the cards for a while. Be­ing a town coun­cil is more mod­ern, and a more ac­cu­rate way of de­scrib­ing Ger­rards Cross.

“Call­ing our­selves a par­ish coun­cil is old fash­ioned and we think that it’s time for us to move for­ward.

“We are too big an area to re­ally be called a vil­lage any more, and if you go to Ger­rards Cross and look round it, you wouldn’t re­ally call it a vil­lage.

“It’s hardly a lit­tle place. We have a large pop­u­la­tion, and lots of ameni­ties that you don’t as­so­ciate with vil­lages, like hav­ing four su­per­mar­kets.”

Mr Brown said that he does not see any draw­backs to the area be­com­ing a town.

He added: “I hope that over time it will make the area even more at­trac­tive than it is now. We would love a sec­ondary school to open here, and a doc­tors’ surgery, and I think that’s more likely to hap­pen if we’re a town.

“It will give us a bit more clout

hope­fully.” How­ever, last year, former coun­cil­lor Nick Moss ar­gued against the move, say­ing: “I think by do­ing it we are es­sen­tially ad­mit­ting that we have lost our vil­lage feel. I think it would be in­cred­i­bly un­pop­u­lar.

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

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