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Thursday, 30 July 2015

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Thousands back new council plan

MORE than 2,500 people have backed plans for a new town council for Whitehaven.

Change plea: Delivering the petition for a town council to Copeland Council Offices are (l to r) Sean Duffy, Roberta Cooper, Carla Arrighi and Jayne Laine

by Andrew Clarke

A petition, gathered by the Time For Change campaign group, was handed to Copeland Council this week signed by 2,614 in favour of the new council being created.

The petition will feed into an ongoing consultation being run by Copeland that could see a new town council, or a number of parish councils, established for Whitehaven next May.

The group’s Sean Duffy said: “We hope that the petition will give added impetus to the Copeland Council consultation, and will highlight the depth of feeling from the electorate.

“The public don’t like what they are seeing happen to Whitehaven and want change to happen.”

Copeland’s review panel is currently drawing up a series of options, and their costs to the taxpayer, that the public will be asked for its views on. They are: having one town council with a £300,000-per-year budget; one town council with a £600,000-per-year budget; two parish councils (with a split on the Loop Road suggested); and three parish councils.

If it is formed, the new council(s) would be funded by an extra charge from residents, raising money to pay for public services that could include toilets, play areas, grass-cutting or Christmas lights. A town council can attract funding that the borough council cannot.

If it gets the go-ahead, elections for new councillors would take place in May. Whitehaven and Sandwith are the only unparished areas in Copeland.

The town council proposals are entirely separate to the elected mayor issue. The petition – and other updates – will be discussed at the next review meeting on June 13.

Have your say

Should funding for Christmas lights be coming from the council? Why not funded by local firms? I know this is just a random point but really I don't think it is the council's job to fund Christmas lights.

Posted by dormouse on 12 June 2014 at 09:41

A couple of misunderstandings here about the long overdue Whitehaven Town Council.

1. It will not replace the Borough Council. It adds another more local tier, which will be funded by extra Council tax - probably about £50 a year.

2. James Fox; Millom and Egremont already have Town Councils. I think the former has taken on the upkeep of the toilets in Millom?

Posted by crisby on 7 June 2014 at 17:30

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