Consultation over changes to Central Beds town and parish councils

PUBLISHED: 09:36 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 18 May 2018

Richard Wenham. Picture: Central Beds Council.

Richard Wenham. Picture: Central Beds Council.

Archant

Central Bedfordshire Council is asking residents for feedback about proposed changes to local councils.

The proposed changes to town and parish councils include moving boundaries, reducing the number of councillors and the abolition, creation and merging of parishes.

This follows the initial consultation last year where people were asked to put ideas forward regarding changes to local authorities – with Central Beds Council now wanting hear residents’ views on whether they believe these recommendations will properly reflect the needs of their local community.

Central Beds deputy leader Councillor Richard Wenham said: “This only tends to happen once every 10 years or so. It’s not very often we have a chance to change the way we are represented at a local level.

“This consultation is a valuable opportunity for people living in Central Bedfordshire to have their say, as part of the democratic process, on local representation.

“Although it may sound like quite an obscure thing to ask people to consider, it is really important.

“For example, where there are boundary changes this could directly impact on those residents as it potentially means they move to a different town or parish council – and that could mean a change in local services and council tax.”

Among the proposed changes is adjusting the parish boundaries in Sandy to exlude Bridge Farm and Ivel Cottage, while boundaries in the Biggleswade wards of Holme and Stratton may be changed with the goal of providing a better balance of electors to seats.

Parish or town councils are responsible for looking after local facilities such as parks, playgrounds, public seats, public toilets, various leisure and recreation facilities, although this can vary between councils.

Mr Wenham was keen to thank those who took part in the initial consultation.

“We would like to thank all those who responded to the first stage of the review – and hope that people will take time to review the proposed changes and give their feedback,” he said.

The consultation runs until July 6, with any agreed changes being implemented in time for the town and parish council elections in May 2019.

See centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations.

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