Release date: 22 May 2015. For immediate release
The first Whitehaven Parish Council meeting was held last night (21 May) to consider next steps and make a decision as to whether the Parish Council should adopt a new name.
The decision to set up the Parish Council was taken after Copeland Borough Council received a 2,500 signature petition and undertook a lengthy two stage consultation process, of which 70 per cent of respondents said they wanted to see a parish council formed.
Copeland Council signed a Reorganisation Order in December, setting up the new Parish Council for the Georgian market town.
The11 newly elected members are now representing approximately 25,000 residents living in the Sandwith, Hensingham, Hillcrest, Kells, Mirehouse, Harbour and Bransty areas, and will initially have responsibility for the allotments and pigeon lofts which have been transferred by Copeland Council under the Reorganisation Order.
Typically a town or parish council looks after a small area and delivers services at a very local level such as allotments, bus shelters, grass-cutting, and Christmas lights, However, tonight the members will establish which other services the Parish Council wishes to provide.
Town and parish councils are funded by a mixture of tax (residents pay an added “precept” on their council tax bill) and grants from various stakeholders to fund specific projects. Parish and town councils also have access to some funding streams that borough or county councils don’t have.
Meetings are usually held monthly are open to the public, although there may be some matters that are discussed in private. For more information about parish councils, or to find out when your next parish council meeting is, visit www.copeland.gov.uk.