Campaigners plan to dissolve town council

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to abolish a town council are preparing to field 24 candidates at next year s election, as part of a six-point plan to dissolve the body. The H

SUBS: COULD USE WITH PIC OF NIGEL JURY WE USED WK09, LETCHWORTH FRONT

council354lm 21.05

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to abolish a town council are preparing to field 24 candidates at next year's election, as part of a six-point plan to dissolve the body.

The Help Eliminate Letchworth Parish Council (HELP) campaign group is implementing what it calls "the second phase of the scheme to dissolve Letchworth Garden City Council".

Its strategy is largely under wraps but ultimately includes fielding a candidate for each of the 24 seats up for grabs in the election.

Chairman of HELP, Nigel Jury, said: "We will do it if we have to." He also said they will be keeping "a close eye out" for any resignations before the election, to ensure the campaign group submits candidates.

Most Read

Mr Jury said: "The council has shown they are offering a service the parishioners do not want.

"If we get 24 councillors in, or the vast majority, we will hold the minimum number of meetings, which is three [a year], for the minimum length of time [until the council can formerly be dissolved].

"We will not charge a precept."

HELP is also intending to write to North Hertfordshire District Council and Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation to suggest a meeting between the three groups in a bid to simplify residents' service by closer cooperation.

Mr Jury said: "My plan has always been that we should be encouraging the two bodies to get together and talk.

"Instead of having a town council costing £600,000, we could have a small number of people who collect the residents' views and hold meetings with the Heritage Foundation and district council, for free."

Nigel Jury and the other HELP campaigners were behind a parish poll last month, which asked if residents thought the town council should be dissolved. With a 15.6 per cent turnout, 2,994 said yes to getting rid of the council, while just 928 were against the proposal.

Following the poll results, which are not legally binding, the town council said it intended to continue.

Mr Jury said: "We are far from being defeated and demoralised. We have taken a gulp, a fresh breath, and we are ready to continue our campaign.