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Councillor steps down from Parish Council

Steve Petty

MELKSHAM Without parish councillor, Steve Petty, has resigned as a parish councillor, saying that he questions the changing role of  the parish council. Although he is also cutting down on some of his voluntary roles, this will still leave him with a busy volunteer’s schedule.

Steve Petty joined Melksham Without Parish Council (MWPC) in 2001 to enable himself a better opportunity to work ‘with the community and for the community.’ At the time of joining, the council was small, working from a small office in Melksham Town Hall. Now, the council has more staff, deputy staff, cleaners and caretakers.

Steve said, “I struggle to understand what additional work is now being done for the community, than was being done all those years ago. In my opinion, all that has changed is the amount of rules and regulations introduced over the years by successive governments and an ambition to grow into a town council.

“I also question decisions by MWPC such as taking over a recreation area in Dunch Lane which will only ever be used by town council residents in the new George Ward estate and Dunch Lane, and  it also appears to be trying to make decisions for communities that the community groups should be doing themselves.

“In my opinion it has got out of hand. Perhaps there is some merit in combining the town and parish as between them, we are now spending just under  half a million pounds on administration to keep both going.”

Steve also having stepped down from his roles of vice-president to Melksham Chamber of Commerce, and president of Melksham St John Ambulance, he will continue his volunteering roles with the Community Speed Watch, Melksham Climate Friendly Group, Berryfield Action Group, The canal link project and Melksham Tourist Information Centre, as well as spending time with his family.

He said, “As I get older, I find it a struggle to fit everything together. What commitments I have left will still need two hands to count.”

Notice for parish vacancy

MELKSHAM Without Parish Council has given notice that a vacancy has become available for the Berryfield Ward after the resignation of Stephen Petty.

Electors have until Thursday 26th April to request an election to fill the vacancy. At least 10 requests are needed for an election to go ahead, otherwise the vacancy can be filled by co-option.

If an election is called, it will take place no later than Tuesday 3rd July.

Requests for an election should be sent to the Returning Officer, Dr Carlton Brand, Electoral Services, Wiltshire Council, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN.

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