Parish poll will cost council £6k

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A CONTROVERSIAL vote on the future of a town’s bus station will cost taxpayers almost £6,000, it has been revealed.

Thetford Town Council confirmed this week that the parish poll on the future of the Anchor Site will take place on August 9.

Moving Thetford Forward wants to invest £1 million to transform the site, dubbing it the Leisure and Heritage Quarter.

But voters at a packed town meeting last Monday voted for a parish poll to show their opposition to the plans, which will include moving the bus station to a new site in Minstergate.

The council will foot the bill for the poll, with a total of £5,740 to be spent on polling stations, presiding officers, poll clerks, staff travel, counters, supervisor fees, ballot papers and ancillary costs.

The poll, which will not be legally binding, was unanimously voted for by electors at the meeting.

But several voices have since come out against the decision, calling it ‘a waste of money’.

In a letter to the Bury Free Press, Marion Chapman-Allen, a Norfolk county councillor, said: “Thetford is being presented with a wonderful opportunity to breathe life back into the centre of town by the redevelopment of the Anchor site with a cinema, café, restaurant and hotel. Are we really going to say no to this opportunity?”

The vote will take place between 4pm and 9pm at nine polling stations.

A planning application on the project has now been submitted to Norfolk County Council.