Thursday, June 18, 2009

A manifesto for Creeting St Peter

As members of the Parish Council are aware, I notified the Parish Clerk of my intention to put my name forward for possible co-option towards the end of March. Whilst I am a relative newcomer to the village, I feel that the Parish Council needs the support and active involvement of local residents. That said, I need to do more than just think that, and offer myself for consideration by council members.

So, why me? What potential skills do I bring to the activities of the Council? What do I see as the priorities for the period until May 2011, when the Council is up for election?

My background is in taxation, which has been my field for more than twenty years. I am comfortable with accounts and accounting, and have a range of contacts in the local government sector at both county and district levels that can fill any gaps in my knowledge. I also have a record of positive engagement in the various organisations I am involved in socially, with a keen awareness of the importance of communication, both internally and externally. Indeed, I have created a blog, intended to cover life and events in the Parish and beyond, a means of supplementing the Parish website.

There is a great deal going on which potentially impacts on the Parish over the coming years. The long awaited Local Government Review for Suffolk may lead to a fundamental change in the role and activity of the Parish Council if the District Councils are, as expected, abolished and replaced with one authority covering either the entire county or a large proportion of it. How we react to the potential threats and opportunities will make a difference to the life of the village in the future.

The multi modal site appears to be a receding threat. However, vigilance is needed, especially in view of the Stowmarket Area Action Plan. There will doubtless be attempts to expand beyond the link road at Cedars Park, and these will have potential to encroach upon the north of the Parish. What we can negotiate in terms of compensatory services might make that development more palatable, and bring opportunities in terms of managed growth for the village in the future.

If co-opted, I would hope to work with our Parish Clerk to expand the information available on our website, providing links to local information, especially that related to local transport, an issue I feel very strongly about, especially as a non-driver.

I would also like to see Creeting St Peter become an e-parish, with contact e-mail addresses for every household in the Parish that has e-mail, allowing more effective consultation on matters of concern to the wider population. Given the size of the Parish, this shouldn't be too difficult.

Finally, I would like to see us work with the County and District Councillors to see if there is a demand for ward surgeries, giving Creeting St Peter residents an opportunity to raise issues of concern that are related to County Council and District Council activities other than at the Annual Parish Meeting.

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