Penrith Town Council Debate

17th July, 2014

Penrith Chamber of Trade – A commentary on the Town Council debate

The town council debate and the pros and cons surrounding it continue to rumble on but soon the citizens of Penrith will have their say as to whether they wish to see one or not.

This is of course not the first time we have all had the opportunity to vote for a town council but this time it is somewhat different. It is now set against a back drop where we could see our district council disappear over the next few years in a local government shake up. The advent of a unitary authority would potentially see all district councils disappear and replaced by one single authority or possibly two authorities (north and south) for Cumbria. If this was to happen the voice of Penrith could potentially be lost together with that of the business community.

Under these circumstances the creation of a town council is crucial. However, either way, if we are to have our own town council it needs to be truly representative of the wishes of Penrith people, with the right people and working not only with the business community but also the community at large under the auspices of a Community or Neighbourhood plan.

Neither should it be politicised. We need the right councillors whose remit is to ensure that everything they do is for the benefit of the town and not related to any political leanings.

At the end of the day the decision will be made by us as Penrith citizens as to whether we are prepared, not only to pay, but potentially be involved in, a town council which will influence the future shape of our town.

So it is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that we use our vote, whether for or against, by 25th July.

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