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Campaign for new council continues

Scholes residents have vowed to continue their campaign for independence.

More than 550 villagers signed the petition for their own council and were indignant when Leeds city councillors turned down their proposal for a split from Barwick-in-elmet a few weeks ago.

It was strongly opposed by Barwick and Scholes Parish Council, who said it had represented both villages since 1946 without any previous call for separate governance.

The Wetherby News has learned of a new plan for the petitioners to join forces with members of the Save Our Scholes residents’ pressure group to create a Community Council in the village.

This will be a non-political body whose primary purpose will be to inform and consult villagers on all key issues.

“It is vital that your voices are heard,” stated residents George Hall and Paul Remmer, who are leading the initiative.

A public meeting to discuss the formation of the community council is to be held in Scholes in the near future, though no date has been announced.

Meanwhile, Leeds City Council has been asked by the Local Government Ombudsman to respond to a complaint from Scholes residents that they failed to follow correct procedures when considering their petition.

Parish councillors told the city council an independent Scholes might be justified if developers eventually gain approval to build hundreds of new homes in the village.

But they consider the idea premature, emphasising that both villages should be working together to agree a robust Neighbourhood Development Plan to fight unwelcome, large scale building proposals.

New Government measures set to come into force this spring should make it easier for any community to set up a new local council.

And it could give the Scholes residents the support they need to persuade city councillors to reconsider their decision.

The measures include a legal requirement that a governance review must be completed within 12 months from the receipt of a valid petition.

And they require ‘principal councils,’ such as Leeds, to put in place a review process to respond to appeals from campaigners whose bid to set up a new local council is rejected.

What do you think? Should Scholes and Barwick villages have separate councils?

Write with your views to: wetherby.news@ypn.co.uk Please include name, address and daytime phone number.

Alternatively comment at the bottom of this story online at www.wetherbynews.co.uk or tweet comments to: @Wetherby_News

 

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