Residents set up council watchdog

FORMER members of a town council, who resigned in protest over the suspension of their chairman, have formed a watchdog group to hold the local authority to account.

Hugh Harper, the ex chairman of Arlesey Town Council, was suspended from office for four weeks on September 5 for failing to treat employed council staff with respect.

Mr Harper subsequently quit his position, with councillors Doreen Archer, Christina and Richard Harris, Leanne Bowskill and Ian Dalgarno also resigning in support of him.

The six former members, along with a number of other ex Arlesey Town Council members and other residents, have now formed a residents’ association.

“We decided to do it several weeks ago and we had our first meeting last week,” Mr Harper explained.

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“We have got 15 members at present.”

Asked what the main objectives of the residents’ association are, Mr Harper said: “We will be a watchdog of the council. We will attend every meeting.

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“The main thing is obviously to make sure that the care of residents is upheld and that we are getting value for money from our council tax.

“We will be looking at the precept and where we think the council can save money.”

He continued: “The idea is to keep involved with the community.

“We are not fading into the background - we are very much in the fore.”

The residents’ association is holding a meeting at Arlesey Scout Headquarters, on Cluny Way in Arlesey, on Thursday, October 27, at 8pm.

Anyone interested in joining the group is invited to attend.

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