Letchworth residents to decide fate of town council

RESIDENTS have the chance to cast “the most important vote of all” which will prove crucial in deciding whether a town council is abolished.

The Letchworth GC electorate will be asked if they support the draft proposal to abolish Letchworth Garden City Council and the civil parish arrangement when surveys are sent out to all households from next Friday, August 24.

The latest six-week consultation – which will cost taxpayers �13,000 – is part of a Community Governance Review being carried out by North Herts District Council (NHDC) which has so far cost �30,000.

The second survey follows an initial questionnaire sent to 28,000 residents between May and June in which 74 per cent of the 5,000 respondents were in favour of the town council – set up in 2005 – being dissolved.

The review was called for by Help Eliminate Letchworth Parish council (HELP) members, who currently make up 21 of the 24 seats and were elected with the sole objective of abolishing the town council.

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Cllr Frank Lovett, chairman of the town council, said: “It is clear from all the previous public consultations that the overwhelming majority of Letchworth residents want the abolition of Letchworth Town Council. We are now nearing the point where this wish can be realised.

“However, the bureaucratic process requires that all Letchworth residents are again consulted for a final confirmation before the official abolition can be enacted.

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“This is the most important vote of all, and we expect it to be a simple and straightforward single question this time.

“We ask all Letchworth residents to please return their questionnaire so that their views are known, whatever their view on the town council.”

Cllr Sue Johnson, who represents the Town Council Supporters Party, said: “My opinion as to how the people of Letchworth should respond remains the same. For those of us who want to have a town council which represents the people of Letchworth and has only our interests at heart then it’s very important to complete the survey form accordingly.

“Do we want a voice and authority over how our town is run, or do we not care?”

The public will also have a further chance to have their say and have questions answered at drop in sessions which are set to take place in September, although venues and dates have not yet been confirmed.

A final decision is expected to be made in January 2013.

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