In her letter ‘Consider what to take over’ Carole Woodland raises some interesting and important points. Planning is not something that town or parish council can have but there are two ways in which they can influence it.
Firstly, as happens with Harpenden Town Council, applicants are required to submit their planning applications to the town council who consider them and make a recommendation before forwarding them to the district council for decision.
Secondly, they can do so by way of a Neighbourhood Plan. The success of the developer in finding a loophole in the plan prepared by Newick, near Lewes, may indicate that their drafting is not always successful in preventing unwelcome development but other town and parish councils and area committees will learn from their misfortune and avoid the same mistake.
Like Ms Woodland I am not at all sure that it would be sensible or desirable to ‘take back’ the De La Warr Pavilion but there are many services that a town council or area committee could take action on. These include allotments, parks and playing fields, maintenance of seats, public toilets, litter bins and bus shelters.
They also have the power to issue fixed penalty charges for littering, graffiti, fly posting and dog offences.
While these may seem minor they are important issues for many people.
Residents who are interested in making their views heard in the Community Governance review consultation that Rother District Council are conducting need to register their interest the council’s website or contact the town hall.
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