Public to be consulted over possible Shaw Parish Council change to Town Council

RESIDENTS will be able to have their say on a proposal for Shaw and Crompton Parish Council to consider adopting Town Council status.

The motion was put forward in July – shortly after the Parish Council’s 30th birthday anniversary – and a working group of nine Parish councillors was established to look at the change.

Their report back to the Parish Council’s November meeting presented research into a change, as well as some associated costs.

Cllr Louie Hamblett explained he had enquired with Mossley, Todmorden and Whitworth Town Councils to see what they perceive to be the overall benefits of Town Council status, such as financial, land control, powers or other.

They replied that they considered there to be no additional powers or advantages over a Parish Council, except the Chairman is entitled to be called the Town Mayor.

Cllr Christopher Stephens had looked into if a change were made what the costs would be for updated Civic Regalia, including Chairman’s chains – coming to around £2,190.

Cllr Paul Turner said in the report there would be a fee for updating OMBC road signs of £609 for first sign, then £414 for each subsequent sign.

And there would be another £145 cost for each of the seven boundary signs in the Parish to be changed, according to research from Cllr Shaun Duffy.

Cllr Duffy added: “Along with Cllr Hall, I asked residents what they thought of the change and every single one was positive.”

But Cllr Stephens countered: “I did a similar thing and out of 20 people I asked, 16 were against it and the ones that said yes put caveats on.”

Cllr Denise Tindall, chair of the Parish Council, said: “There might be more cons than pros because there are going to be expenses regardless.

“There are going to be expenses for signage, stationary, etc and it is going to cost money.”

Cllr Angie Farrell added: “At a time when all we have had to cut back in each committee that we have, how are we financing it?”

Councillors voted on an amendment to defer the decision to adopt Town Council status until they have further information and have consulted with residents no later than May 2018.

Look out for further information and how to take part in a consultation in the near future.

υυ A new technology system will help to bring Shaw and Crompton Parish Council into the 21st century.

The change will come into place as the Council seeks a new way to source and display planning applications rather than displaying printed documents from Oldham Council’s planning department.

Tony Hilton, the Parish Council’s clerk, recommended they invest in technology for their offices, using funds from their finance committee.

He proposed they “dispense with printed copies of planning documents altogether and utilise technology – namely via a laptop and projector and logging onto the OMBC planning portal and displaying plans on a screen/wall in the Parish Council chamber.

“Alternatively, there are other devices, such as interactive, multi-touch screens with optional built-in PC and Windows software which would enable a high quality, high resolution display for viewing planning documents in detail.”

Mr Hilton told November’s Council meeting: “It is time we invest in a modern system.

“It will also be an additional asset to the Council. We can hire out the equipment or the room so it will have a wider benefit than just being for planning applications.”

The recommendation was approved unanimously by Parish Councillors.

 

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