Town council is vital to Letchworth
I feel that I must reply to the good lady of Bursland who asks in last week s Comet what does the council do. Firstly a little history. A petition was raised in favour of a town council and signatures of 20 per cent of the electorate were obtained, double
I feel that I must reply to the good lady of Bursland who asks in last week's Comet what does the council do.
Firstly a little history. A petition was raised in favour of a town council and signatures of 20 per cent of the electorate were obtained, double that required. The district council who seemed worried by the course of events held a referendum (do we want a town council) at a cost of £19,000 of ratepayers money.
I heard no squeals of protest at this waste and when the result was an overwhelming 'yes' a councillor was heard to say if we cannot stop it we must get voted onto it.
However, 24 local people stood for election on a platform of complete independence from any political part and in an event which must be uprecedented in elections the whole 24 were elected. These councillors were elected to be the eyes and ears of the community and within a week of election were approached by a concerned citizen over the removal of sand from the kiddies sandpit at the paddling pool and its replacement with bark chippings. This concern was passed on to the district council and - lo and behold - a few weeks later the sand was replaced.
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Since then the council has been approached by Grange estate residents over their worries about a district council regeneration scheme. LGCC intervention has resulted in a district council rethink and a donation has been made towards the new layout.
Further good works carried out by the Garden City Council have been to back the Pasture Road residents in their efforts to prevent overbuilding on their estate and currently backing the Hawksley bungalow residents in their fight to prevent demolition of their homes.
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As regards the financial aspect of the council, all 24 councillors give their services free, the only paid members are their staff, the Clerk and his assistant who keep the council ticking over efficiently on a day to day basis.
It may not be generally known but members of the public are welcome at any of their meetings and can in the daytime bring any of their concerns to the Clerk at the Elim Church in Icknield Way. I just wish that people would spend less time in attacking the Garden City Council and take a look at what is happening in the town.
It might not be long before Garden is removed from the name of Letchworth, anyone who doubts this should take a walk past Letchworth's first school in Norton Road. Maybe if the LGCC was in being in 2003 there might have been a different story.
It is not generally known but the Bishop of St Albans wanted this site as a church school but was denied this by the county authorities.
I hope that the above answers Ms Arnold's queries and might I suggest that she visit the office or meetings to obtain a fuller explanation of council activities.
Derek Hodgson, LGCC Councillor, Norton Road, Letchworth GC