Seaside village in 'Brexit' breakaway bid from parish

Families enjoy the sands at Scratby during lockdown. Access has recently been improved thanks to the

A bid to separate the parishes of Scratby and California from Ormesby St Margaret is being looked at. Pictured is Scratby beach. - Credit: Archant

A seaside village is looking to go it alone and set up its own parish authority in a move being tagged as "like Brexit".

Scratby, California, and Ormesby St Margaret are separate communities which share a parish council.

Now, however, enquiries are being made as to whether it is feasible for Scratby to defect and be autonomous from its larger neighbour.

The move was proposed by long-standing Ormesby councillor Jim Shrimplin.

ormesby village signphoto:rob allanson17/05/2005

Ormesby St Margaret and Scratby share a parish council. But that may change in the future if residents support a breakaway bid to separate the parishes.

The parish clerk has now been instructed to look into the matter and see what steps are needed for the separation to go ahead.

Sylvia Bigg, who sits for Scratby, said councillors were "outnumbered" by larger Ormesby and were waiting to see what the clerk came back with.

She said the move came amid "a lot of unrest."

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Parish council chairman Christine Lee said if Scratby felt it wanted to split it should have the opportunity to do so.

She said: "It is down to democracy and if that's what people want they should go for it.

"It was coming up at every meeting and the feeling was that if you really feel this way you should make it happen - or preferably work together as one parish.

"But it has come to a stage where a debate needs to be had.

"The resolution at the last meeting was to find out what was required in terms of the process."

She said it meant proving that 10pc of both parishes wanted the split for it it be looked at by Great Yarmouth Borough Council who would then hold a referendum "a bit like Brexit."

Geoff Freeman pictured when he was standing down as chairman of Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council

Geoff Freeman during his time as chairman opening the new All Saints parish hall in Scratby. - Credit: James Bass

Geoff Freeman, Ormesby councillor and former chairman, said a similar move was tried in around 1999 but was voted down.

"We can get far more done as one big parish," he said.

Currently there are five councillors for Scratby and ten for Ormesby, representing the difference in ward size.

Scratby councillor Peter Holley said the proposal was in its early stages. Kathryn Wendt said she was unable to comment.

The council operates under the banner "Three communities, one parish" taking in Scratby, California and Ormesby.

The clerk is due to report back at the next meeting November 8, at All Saints Parish Hall, at 7pm.

'Not fully represented'

A new group, the SCCCF (Scratby and California Coastal Community Forum) says it has been formed by residents with the goal of separating Scratby and California with Ormesby Parish Council,.

It says Scratby and California have grown and are not fully represented.

A split parish would better communicate with residents, mean precept money would stay in the village, and that grants would be for Scratby and California projects only, according to the group.

It also says separating would "minimise red tape".

A statement said: "We are waiting for a response from the parish council at the meeting on November 8 to see if they have taken this forward with Great Yarmouth Borough Council."