WHAT IS A TOWN COUNCIL?
Parishes have been around for a long time and are the smallest areas of civil administration in England, providing the statutory tier of local government closest to the people, together with the Borough/District Councils and Lancashire County Council.
Town and Parish Councils have a wide range of duties and powers such as the maintenance of community buildings and land; provision of play areas; maintenance of village greens and rights of way. The power to provide allotments.
Town and Parish Councils are the essence of local democracy and have a vital role in speaking and acting on behalf of the communities they represent. As a Town Council we comment on planning applications and can advise the County (Lancashire County Council) and Borough Authority (Wyre Council) on the views of residents.
Town Council News
Update on Community Centre
Following on from the Town Council Meeting held on 18th August (whereby the Council learnt that the development of the Scout Hut area would not be taken further - see the draft minute below) the Council welcome the thoughts and views of the electorate on the future of the building.
Should we be looking to secure it for the future generations as an important asset, or is it a ‘White Elephant’ and future potential burden for the rate payers of Garstang? Your views are welcomed (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Mayor and Chairman of the Working Party, Cllr Salisbury updated the Council and members of the public of the progress to date. The working party had explored the possibility of moving the Scouts/Guides from their Kepple Lane site into the Community Centre. A response had been received from the organisation that; ‘such a move is not negotiable; the proposal is entirely unsuitable to the needs of the Organisations involved’. The Mayor, while wishing to retain the Community Centre Building for Garstang, was also very aware of not wishing to raise the precept for the electorate of Garstang. As a result the Mayor suggested that further discussions should take place with Wyre Council, in an attempt to retain the building for the community of Garstang.
Resolved: That the Working Party meet with Wyre Council, to update them of the current situation to date and to explore any options of a working partnership with them, to retain the building for the community of Garstang.
Update on planning issues with Wyre Council
Members of Garstang Town Council met with Councillor Pete Murphy, Portfolio Holder responsible for Planning Development along with Mr David Thow, Head of Planning Services, on Monday 30 June. Discussions centred on the way planning applications are currently being submitted (or have been submitted) to Wyre Council which affect the town of Garstang.
The meeting was called at the request of Garstang Town Council, initiated by the Mayor Cllr Salisbury. The meeting took place, ahead of similar meetings which are planned later in the summer by Wyre council with the Parish and Town Councils of Wyre.
Cllrs asked Mr Thow about Wyre’s current position with housing numbers allocated for Garstang and the greater Garstang area, and how current and future applications would be dealt with by Wyre. A request was also put to Mr Thow of how Garstang could benefit proportionally with improvements to the infrastructure services, if any of these schemes should be approved in the future.
Wyre Council responded as follows:
The Borough Council has for some time been working on a new Local Plan which includes identifying appropriate sites for development (both housing and employment) and part of that process includes landowners putting forward sites for development. The Borough Council is currently working through a list of sites which include those which are currently subject of planning applications. This summer (August) meetings will be arranged with the Town and Parish Councils to discuss the progress of the new Local Plan which will include sites put forward for residential and commercial development.
Some 18 months or so ago each Town and Parish Council was asked to nominate an individual to be their Planning Ambassador who would act as a link between the Borough and Town or Parish Council. The Planning Ambassadors have undergone training and will be a crucial and vital link as the new Local Plan progresses. The fact work is on-going on a new Local Plan does not prevent landowners from submitting planning applications but those applications will be assessed against National and Local Planning Policy including the emerging new Local Plan. When a planning application is made the Borough Council will ensure there is adequate publicity including notification with the Town or Parish Council, local residents and other partners so as to ensure a full assessment is made.
Garry Payne, Wyre Councils Chief Executive is a Chartered Town Planner and he is fully aware of the sensitivities and magnitude associated with an emerging Local Plan and consequently he will be attending future meetings with the Town and Parish Councils and he will play a full and active role as matters progress.
MAYOR MAKING MAY 2014
Councillor Graham Salisbury was elected Mayor of Garstang on the 22 May 2014 at the Annual Meeting of the Council, held at the Community Centre in Garstang. Councillor Salisbury first joined the Council in 2010. The Mayor is being supported the Mayoress, Cathy Salisbury and by Councillor Lynn Harter as Deputy Mayor.
Back Row: Cllrs: Mary Alston, Tom Balmain, Chris Ryan, Alan Cornthwaite, David Williams and Town Clerk: Edwina Parry
Front Row: Cllrs: Mike Halford, Gordon Harter, Graham Salisbury, Lynn Harter, Sandra Perkins and Young Mayor Louise McCarthy.
TOWN COUNCIL MEETINGS
All Town Council meetings are open to the public, and give the opportunity to electors to raise issues for the Council to answer or to carry forward for later debate. The meetings are held monthly and are led by the mayor (Chairman) and advised by the Town Clerk who is there to see that business is conducted within the law. For the latest meeting dates, agenda and minutes see the links in the right column.
HOW IS THE TOWN COUNCIL FINANCED?
The Council gets their money mainly from local taxation - the precept - and from grants towards products and services. Income and expenditure for the next financial year are calculated in the form of estimates. For a copy of the 2010 end of year accounts please see the links in the right column.
Local Councillors do not get paid. They give their time voluntary and are elected four years at a time. For a list of current Garstang Town Councillors please see the links in the right column. Local councillors fulfil the following role:
- Act as a liaison between the electorate and the Borough and County Councils.
- Can influence other decisions makers.
- Represent the collective views of the residents.
- Can play an integral part in the consultation process for many local policies and planning documents.
Garstang Town Council are involved in a variety of local projects and issues, developing Kepple Lane playing field into a multi-use area for all members of the family and repairing the War Memorial in the town, and developing and promoting the Youth Council.
TOWN COUNCIL CONTACTS
|Town Clerk||Mrs Edwina Parry||Room G17, Garstang Business & Community Centre,
High Street, Garstang PR3 1EB
|Lengthsman||Mr Martyn Rossall|
Martyn is an employee of Garstang Town Council. His duties include sweeping up the litter, trimming back hedges and cutting some of the grass verges in the town. Martyn makes a considerable difference to the tidiness of the town. If you have any reports of neglect in the town of Garstang, which need attention by Martyn, please contact the Town Clerk.