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Ormesby council new faces call

PUBLISHED: 18:22 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 July 2010

A parish council is hoping to force what could be its first election in 20 years in a bid to cultivate some new green shoots for its grass roots team.

Geoff Freeman, chairman of Ormesby St Margaret with Scratby Parish Council said he did not want to face another year with barely a handful of elected members - although Ormesby fares better than most with a full complement of 15 members - and as a first step is organising an open evening for Monday.

A parish council is hoping to force what could be its first election in 20 years in a bid to cultivate some new green shoots for its grass roots team.

Geoff Freeman, chairman of Ormesby St Margaret with Scratby Parish Council said he did not want to face another year with barely a handful of elected members - although Ormesby fares better than most with a full complement of 15 members - and as a first step is organising an open evening for Monday.

He said there were rarely enough candidates to warrant an election and that while Ormesby was not normally a place anyone would associate with political upheaval he was hoping to attract younger people whose local knowledge and commitment would add vigour to the ageing membership.

Issues like dogs' mess in the streets, broken swings and litter were among the nuisances of day to day parish pump life but with bigger issues like the proposed windfarm, the shoreline management plan and planning concerns like the future of the Royal Oak also on the agenda people could add enormous value to the communities they serve.

Parish clerk Pat Devlin said the council oversaw a precept of £20,000 - double the previous year's - and was working to build a new village hall in Scratby.

She said that sometimes the council had set no precept at all getting by on a shoe string budget generated from the village halls but that to make a difference it had to have some money in the bank.

Mr Freeman said: “We have a brilliant community spirit in the village and a huge number or organisations that all rely on volunteers, but you do see the same faces all the time.

“There are lots of new, exciting projects going on and there is a democracy issue. We have getting on for 4000 adults in Ormesby, Scratby and California and we want to go for an election. We cover a huge range of topics from planning to overgrown trees to fouling of the footpath and maintaining public spaces.”

Members of the public are invited to find out more about their council at an opening evening with coffee and biscuits on Monday at the village centre between 7.30pm and 9pm. There will be a shorter than usual meeting followed by informal chat.

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