New West Row Parish Council to form in May 2019
PUBLISHED: 16:48 21 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:48 21 December 2018
Plans for a new parish council in west Suffolk have moved a step closer, with the authority due to be formally launched in May next year.
Forest Heath District Council has been involved in more than two years of scoping work to assess how democracy was operating locally, and in July 2017 opted to pursue plans for a new parish council to cover West Row and Islesham Marina.
With changes to the ward boundaries set to happen in March as Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils merge to become West Suffolk Council, the proposal brings the existing Mildenhall Parish Council boundary in line with that of the merged council.
It means that the size of Mildenhall Parish Council’s area will be reduced, but will still elect 15 councillors from May.
During Forest Heath’s full council meeting on Wednesday, December 19, a reorganisation order which must be carried out was approved, and a May 2019 formation date established for the new West Row Parish Council.
The new parish council, which will represent community issues in planning applications, management of parks and play areas and public toilet facilities, will feature nine councillors.
Ruth Bowman, chairman of Mildenhall Parish Council, which is set to become a town council in May, said: “I think it’s an all round good story.
“Forest Heath have gone through the process, residents have had a chance to say what they would like to do, so all the bits are in place for the parish to set up after the elections in May.
“The important thing is it’s great to have decisions made more locally.
“Getting people engaged with their own communities and local decision making is good so it means West Row will be able to focus on their amenities and services they provide. People like to feel connected to their community.”
Councillor James Waters, Forest Heath leader, said: “It is a move that has been backed by local residents and which I am happy to support. There will also be elections to the new West Suffolk Council next year.
“I’m sure that there will be a strong working relationship between West Suffolk, the new West Row Parish Council and a continuation of that strong partnership with our other town and parish councils across the area.”