Councillors sought for new West Row Parish Council
Proponents of the new West Row Parish Council are “delighted” at the number of people prepared to stand for election.
Nine members are needed for the authority when it sets up in May as a separate entity to Mildenhall Parish.
And John Smith, chairman of West Row shadow committee, thinks meeting the target should not be a struggle, based on initial responses.
He said this week: “We advertised it online and started going round door-to-door, and we have had a lot of interest – so much so that we have needed to get more application forms.
“For residents, it’s a new council and an exciting prospect. It’s a chance to have a say and I think people feel empowered.
“Some have said they thought they would never be a councillor but are signing up. I am delighted at the response so far.”
The new council would run parallel to Mildenhall Parish Council, which keeps its 15 members.
A £51,000-per-year precept has been signed off to fund the authority, with initial meetings likely to be held at the church hall. Elections are set to be held on May 2.
Parish councillors are typically volunteers and are able to set a council tax precept and make decisions on local issues such as street lights, park benches and goalposts. These authorities usually have their own chairman or chairwoman, who also chairs public meetings, and the body can lobby higher authorities on issues as the “voice” of a community.
Mr Smith continued: “We are unfunded at the moment until the council is up and running.
“There is a need for it.
“We have picked up on things like the local plan where there was a need for representation and I don’t think this can be done by Mildenhall.”
He added: “It will not be party political.”
To find out more, visit West Row Parish page on Facebook, or to stand visit the ‘elections’ site at: www.westsuffolk.gov.uk