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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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'Shadow' town council to be set up in Penrith

Residents in Penrith say they’d like a town council to look after their interests.

Gordon Nicolson  photo
Gordon Nicolson

Over 12,000 people in the town voted on the question of whether a town council should be introduced – with 65 per cent of those turning out in favour of change.

Councillors say they are pleased with the number of voters who turned out, 41 per cent.

A shadow town council will now be set up at Eden Council’s next meeting on September 18, with a view to holding elections for the first town council in May next year.

The leader of Eden Council Gordon Nicolson, said: “The people of Penrith have made an historic decision in voting for a town council. I am pleased that the result shows a significant majority for the decision.

"This will mean that all of Eden district will have a town or parish council to represent the views of residents. I welcome the result. We will ask the council at its next meeting to endorse the result and agree to set up a shadow town council.

“We have a long tradition of working with town and parish councils in Eden and we will extend this to the new town council for Penrith.”

Grattan Bowen, who chaired the community governance review added: “Two to one in favour of a town council for Penrith is a terrific result and confirmation of the feelings of the people of the town.”

Alongside the vote the council conducted a residents’ survey.

They found that 58 per cent of people were prepared to pay more council tax for the new town council and 87 per cent believed it would get more people involved in running Penrith and increase civic pride.

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