Community Governance Review – Consultation Process Starts

Fylde Conservatives last night proposed a full consultation to review Community Governance across the whole of Fylde Borough. The consultation was instigated by an application from St Annes on the Sea Town Council to increase it’s number of Councillors from 7 to 18. This request would require a Boundary Commission review and therefore it was seen as an opportunity to also review the size of the District Council whilst at the same time asking the Boroughs other Town and Parish Councils if they required any chances to their boundaries or structures.

As Conservatives we promised to review structures and Councillor numbers to ensure that the right level of representation is given to the residents of Fylde. With the current proposals for 18 St Annes Town Councillors, this potentially brings the number of elected Officials in St Annes alone to 39 Councillors including County Councillors, residents have a right to comment’ Opposition Councillors voted against the move and argued that the Council should ‘Consult on having the consultation first’

My colleague Partnerships Portfolio Holder and Staining Parish Councillor Albert Pounder said ‘ this was a ridiculous argument and I was disappointed that opposition Councillors voted against giving residents the right to have their say – This was a classic Turkeys and Christmas scenario and I for one welcome a review which is 35 years overdue’

 A number of light touch reviews have taken place since 1974 however these were just tinkering around the edges and not deemed to be wide ranging. The last review undertaken when Independent and Liberal Democrat Councillors were in charge sparked a furious response from St Annes residents who were again denied a St Annes Town Council. This led to a 3500 signature petition which brought about the new Town Council.

It is interesting to note that ‘ Both the Conservative and Labour Parties have stated that the future of local decision making will be through Town and Parish Councils in the first instance. Both Parties have also made it clear that Town Halls will need to tighten their belts further from 2011 and Government has recently stated that Town Halls need to strongly consider the cessation of Non-Statutory services’

 The review will start in earnest and will be completed in time for the 2011 local Council elections. Residents across the Borough will now be asked for their views on local representation including those in Lytham and Ansdell whom currently do not have Parish Councils.

Cllr Pounder added ‘ We will consider all the responses once collated and will bring the results back to the Full Council for a final decision on how to proceed, I hope that those who voted against this Consultation on Monday will then honour the will of the people’

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