The article regarding Pittville having a parish council (Echo Jan 7th), made interesting reading.
Of course, as the article states, the people of Pittville should have the final say on whether they believe that a parish council is necessary, and whether an extra tier of bureaucracy is really going to give them better or more services than those currently being provided by Cheltenham Borough Council.
There is also the matter of the precept (tax) that entitles an established parish council to raise additional money from the Borough Council, in order to add any needed extra services in the area. This extra tax is added to the current community charge.
A parish council requires a clerk to run the administration duties, and from past experiences, it is worth reminding Pittville readers, that a parish clerk will need to be paid a salary, whether they are part-time or full-time.
And like most things associated with parish councils, the work gets more, not less.
Civil parish councils were formed in England in 1894, mainly to enable the provision of civic duties in rural towns and villages, which is why Charlton Kings, Leckhampton, Warden Hill, Prestbury, Swindon Village and Up Hatherley, were formed.
Those same villages, even though they have expanded over time, are still very much semi-rural villages, with their village greens and old English style pubs, just as they were in 1894.
Cllr Dennis Parsons’ comment about “someone from Charlton Kings making a decision about Pittville’s allotments” is bogus.
He should know that councils have a statutory obligation to provide land for use as allotments, when six or more council tax payers make a request for the council to acquire land for that purpose. (Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908).
Far better to do that than point a finger at Charlton Kings parish council as the reason why Pittville would be prevented from having their own allotments.
It will be interesting to see what response there will be when the public consultation takes place. Pittville residents should be careful what they wish for themselves, and not be persuaded by what appears to be an ego trip by one of its councillors.
This is a published letter to the Echo from Les Godwin