The launch of South Ashford’s Community Council Campaign petition appeared in the Kentish Express
Our Press Release:
Forum petition requests formation of Community Council
Since its creation in 1974, Ashford Borough Council, in common with many Borough and District councils, has governed a larger area than its predecessors. While some of the local councils in town areas, e.g. Tenterden, and the parish councils in the rural areas, have continued to exist following reorganisation in the 1970s, other councils, such as the Urban District Councils, were subsumed into the larger Borough Council. As a result, 40% of the all voters in the Borough, about 2/3rds of voters in the urban area of Ashford, do not get the advantages of being represented by a local council.
Ashford Borough Council has started a Community Governance Review that could correct this anomaly.
South Ashford Community Forum has sent a petition to all of the households in the area it serves, requesting that Ashford Borough Council considers the creation of a Community Council to represent South Ashford. The Forum is asking that all voters in the area sign the petition, which can be returned in the supplied postage paid envelope.
If the petition is successful the Forum expects that the Borough Council will include the formation of a Community Council in draft proposals to be published as part of its Review. The Council will issue the proposals for public consultation later this year.
Community Councils are a great way to give residents a more powerful voice in the local area. Their role is to represent the community, provide services to meet local needs and improve the quality of life and community well-being.
- They are the first tier of local government in England. The Localism Act of 2011gives more authority and power to local government.
- The Councils are democratically and financially accountable to the community.
- They have the legal right to be informed about planning applications.
- Councils can help support groups in the area, through funding, providing somewhere to meet, or by publicity.
- Community Councils have a range of powers and can provide, maintain or contribute to services.
- Examples include: leisure centres, youth projects, bus shelters, car parks, community transport schemes, crime reduction measures (e.g. anti-social behaviour, CCTV), cycle paths, allotments, community safety schemes, street cleaning, street lighting and traffic calming.
More information is provided on the South Ashford Community Forum website www.southashfordcf.kentparishes.gov.uk
South Ashford Community Forum is an open forum set up to represent the views of people living and working in the non-parished area of South Ashford and to help communicate those views to Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council and other statutory organisations.
Kentish Express 2nd April 2015 page 6