Councillors to hold meetings on impact of making Walcot and Park North into a parish.
The Council is currently consulting residents on plans to make Walcot West, Walcot East and Park North into a parished area.
Councillors Steve Allsopp, Abdul Amin and Emma Bushell will be holding the second of three meetings across the ward in Walcot East next Wednesday to ask residents for views on the subject and to answer any questions.
If a new parish is created in Walcot and Park North it will gain control over services such as maintenance of green areas and some community buildings. A new Parish Council will need to be elected to be responsible for this.
Residents in Walcot and Park North will be subject to paying an additional amount on their council tax bill called a parish precept.
Due to brutal government cuts, council bills may have to increase over the next few years to pay for current services like litter collection and street cleaning. However, we believe that a parish precept is an unfair, inefficient and un-transparent way to raise taxes.
Parishing could mean that local people have a greater say over services and facilities in their area. The Council argues that this move is necessary to protect services in the area
However, local councillors are concerned that the move is undemocratic and will lead to increased costs for a worse level of service for residents.
We believe a referendum must be held so the people of Park North and Walcot can decide whether or not they want to be part of a parish
At a well-attended meeting held in Walcot West in January the majority of residents expressed concerns about the plans to parish the area.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday February 17th 7.00-9.00 pm at Walcot Dome, Burghley Close
A further meeting with Councillors from Park South will be held on March 16th 19.00 – 21.00 at Goddard Park School, Welcombe Avenue for residents of Park North and Park South.
Please contact Emma Bushell on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07876 430582 for confirmation.
The Council is holding a Community Engagement session on Parishing for Walcot and Parks on Monday March 7th 09.30-13.30 at St Andrews Church Hall
You can make a submission to the Council about the parishing plans or request further information by contacting CGR@swindon.gov.uk