The article in last week’s Hucknall Dispatch by Mark Spencer MP on a town council for Hucknall has prompted much discussion amongst the local district councillors.
It is accepted that the debate over a council for the town itself is not a new issue and given that there is Government push to promote localism it is unlikely that it will go away.
Furthermore, Ashfield District Council welcomes any unfettered approaches to obtain the honest and open views of the community about any aspect of the town and the door is not closed on consideration of the prospect of a town council.
The comment from Mr. Spencer which indicates that Hucknall does not get its fair share of resources and/or services from Ashfield District Council is both unfair and inappropriate.
Mr. Spencer knows full well that this is patently not the case and Dispatch readers only have to turn to page 11 of the paper of 22nd August, 2014, to see a commitment of £800,000 by the Council to improve housing standards.
There is also the little matter of a £4.9m commitment to the building of extra care homes on the Darlison Court site, a provision which will have high quality accommodation for those who need the security of health support.
Whilst the delivery of the inner relief road is not welcomed by all, there is strong evidence to show that its construction will be a catalyst to increasing the rate of improvement in the viability of the town’s business heart, and for this the Council has committed over £1m.
Hucknall also has an Area Committee which exists to provide a forum for local decision making and I would encourage people to attend to air their views and seek information on what is happening in the town. The work of the Environment team which is charged with keeping Hucknall clean and tidy forms part of the agenda for the Area Committee as does the community protection service. None of these resources come cheap but we are determined that Hucknall benefits from the wide range of services provided by Ashfield District Council.
On a more pragmatic note, a town council comes at a price. Mr. Spencer acknowledges that it would bring another layer of politicians and with that would come a cost. It is an interesting and intriguing comment he makes that the town council would have to be a replacement for the District Council. He knows full well that a position of wide-ranging independence is not achievable under the existing local government structure and that against a background of reducing public sector resources, it is a dream which has the potential to become a cost nightmare for Hucknall people if not handled properly.
Residents can be assured that local councillors will continue to ensure that the voice of Hucknall residents is not only heard but also listened to by all tiers of local government and the public sector in general.
Councillor C. Baron
Leader, Ashfield DistrictCouncil
To read the original article including Mark Spencer’s thoughts on a town council CLICK HERE
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Does Hucknall get a fair share? Would you welcome a town council? To email us your views CLICK HERE