Town council plans ‘put on ice’
Council chiefs say proposals to create more town councils in the district are set to be put on ice after a lack of interest.
Canterbury City Council, as part of an on-going review of local government and its own area-based council meetings, had put out the idea of forming town councils for Canterbury, Herne Bay and Whitstable.
But councillors this week said the result of a consultation and the low response rate, revealed limited appetite. Concerns were cited over paying more for council tax and added bureaucracy.
Cllr Ben Fitter-harding, chair- man of the authority’s community governance review working group, said: “It was clear there is a desire for local people and local councillors to have a greater say about decisions affecting their area.
“They also felt this council could do more to welcome members of the public to its meetings and encourage them to take part. We’re keen to hear people’s views on how we can do this.
“This process leaves the door open to the creation of town councils, especially if there is a groundswell of support for them in the future, but recognises that now is not the right time.”
The council already stages separate area member panels for Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and the rural villages. All focus on local issues which then feed back into council decision making.
The on-going discussion is now looking at whether to adjust the boundaries of some parish councils, rename others and if a new parish council should be created in the Hersden area.
To find out more or to take part in the consultation, visit www.canterbury.gov.uk/cgr. The deadline for views is March 18.
Cllr Ben Fitter-harding