Thursday 14 March 2013 Updated: 15/03 12:21
WE HAVE had a tremendous response to the story on last week's front page about parish councils.
Here are a few of the letters from residents against having a third tier of local government.
To have your say directly on any of these views or to post your own, visit www.facebook.com/greatparishcouncildebate
IT WAS with some surprise to read that scrapping parish councils was being suggested as they did not represent value for money.
My surprise is due mainly to the fact that it was Bromsgrove Council who foisted parish councils onto the electorate in the early 1980s despite a general lack of enthusiasm, and opposition, from the local populace at the time.
I, myself, had a letter published in the press at the time vociferously opposing the proposal on the basis that a third tier of local government was unnecessary and a total waste of money.
Following which a number of Catshill residents sought me out to compliment me on the letter and not one person approached me with a dissenting view. Nonetheless, a parish council was foisted upon us and its achievements over the last 25 approx years have been the Ivy Gardens and a new bus shelter.
We rarely have an opportunity to vote in parish elections, as when these have been held, there is a local roar of apathy and no-one bothers to vote as they couldn't care less.
Generally there is no opposition to vote for as no-one is interested in standing and most, if not all, parish councillors are co-opted from a small group of predominantly self-important individuals.
Lickey End was forced to continue to go through the charade of having regular parish council elections for over 20 years before the powers that be accepted the democratic wishes of the electorate and scrapped it.
The proposal to get rid of parish councils in Bromsgrove, and in particular in my own district, Catshill, has my full support, and the sooner this waste of council taxpayers money can be stopped, the better.
I WAS surprised to read in (Standard, March 8) that we are funding parish councils at a time when council funds are at a premium.
I trust the money is not used to pay councillors expenses. Some of my relatives were lay preachers in the Methodist Church and were not paid, however they were respected as leading members of the community and that was reward enough.
Many local citizens devote much of their spare time doing charitable work, providing sporting events for our children being one of the most prominent for which they receive no council funds.
I agree with Coun Hollingworth and don’t believe parish councils provide any services that, are not or cannot be undertaken by Bromsgrove District Council. Nor do I believe that by withdrawing these funds that Parish Councils would be less active.
I AGREE that we must disband antiquated parish councils as they do nothing for the area.
They are supposed to supply services but, as was stated, the district can supply all services the parish councils charge extra for.
I was elected two years ago as a parish councillor and stayed as long as three months on the parish council in Romsley, my first meeting I stood up and said I had 31 issues. They carried out one because the chairman decided the others were not important.
I have continued my community spirit in our village and worked with a county councillor to get issues attended to like drains, pot holes etc to my satisfaction. The money the parish council gets from its separate precept is largely spent on so-called expenses which amount to thousands of pounds.
Ex Romsley Parish Councilor.
I GIVE the strongest possible support to the disbanding of parish councils, especially the Lickey and Blackwell one, they are a total waste of time and money.
Old Birmingham Road
AT LAST, someone who sees parish councils for what they really are - a complete waste of time, effort, and particularly, money. Council taxpayers' money.
As a Clent resident I am incensed by the irresponsible attitude of Clent Parish Council (CPC). At a time when the whole country is struggling to restrain spending and local councils are being encouraged to limit tax increases, CPC, rather than rein in its profligate spending ambitions, think it acceptable to increase their precept by more than one third, from £56,200 to £75,000, in the process making themselves the most expensive PC in the district CPC now costs a band D household £63.75 per year.
And why does it need all this extra money? Well, it’s not to keep the lights on - one of its recent suggestions is to remove some streetlights and turn the others off at night. It’s great news for criminals.
No, what it is doing is squandering our money - it wastes a huge proportion on administration and then wastes even more on ridiculous projects. There are many examples but in the interest of brevity consider just one.
CPC installed a fence around the cricket pitch – to keep parishioners out. They then installed gates at each corner – to let parishioners in. The gates have been kept locked – to keep parishioners out. Now they are in the process of repositioning the fence and gates – not sure if this is to keep parishioners out or in but either way it’s costing a lot of our money. And how many of the near 2,200 parishioners are members of the cricket club – less than 20. If it were not such a waste of money it would be laughable.
CPC councillors are unnecessary, especially when district councillors and MPs are only an e-mail away - they are ineffective, appalling value for money and they behave irresponsibly, wasting taxpayers' cash. I support getting rid of them as soon as possible.
Clent does have some sensible councillors who are working hard for the benefit of our community, unfortunately they are a minority.
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