POLL: Councillors support Letchworth surgery comeback

DROP-IN surgeries could be reintroduced in Letchworth GC after the idea received support from district councillors.

Surgeries, which offer the public a chance to speak with councillors about North Hertfordshire District Council related issues, stopped being held at Letchworth Free Church in the town in 2004 due to a lack of numbers.

Following discussions at last week’s Letchworth area committee meeting, the opportunity for face-to-face meetings may be started up again.

Cllr David Levett, who represents the Letchworth South West ward, said: “It’s been tried before and it didn’t go well before but we’ve got different councillors now. There’s no harm in making ourselves available and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work, but it’s worth a try.”

Members, who were largely in favour of holding surgeries in Letchworth Town Centre, asked for the cost of the move to be investigated and the success it currently has in towns such as Hitchin.

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Letchworth South West ward Cllr Michael Rice said that, although he had only “limited experience”, he feared if it did go ahead councillors are “only going to get moans”.

Responding, Letchworth Wilbury ward Cllr Gary Grindal said: “I don’t think we should use the excuse of ‘it may cost a bit of money’ to get in the way of democracy. Let us give it a go and if we have to spend a bit of money so be it. I don’t think we should be scared of people having a moan either.”

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Members decided to defer a decision on surgeries until the next Letchworth area committee meeting, to be held at the council offices in Gernon Road on January 18.

*Do you think district councillors should hold surgeries in Letchworth GC? Vote in our poll or email your views to nick.gill@thecomet.net

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