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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Warning for councillor who floated Harrington 'go it alone' idea

Calls for part of Workington to seize breakaway powers have promoted a furious backlash from Labour.

Stephen Stoddart photo
Stephen Stoddart

Stephen Stoddart, an independent councillor for Moorclose, wants Harrington to become its own parish and has asked for a referendum.

But Gerald Humes, leader of the town council, accused him of trying to “undermine” the town council from within – a claim Mr Stoddart has strongly denied.

Mr Humes said that Mr Stoddart should focus on his own ward of Moorclose, or step down from the town council and stand for Harrington.

Mr Stoddart said that he had raised the issue of independent parish status for Harrington at the request of friends and family who lived there and not to undermine the council.

He also insisted that his focus would always be serving the people of Moorclose.

Town mayor Andrew Lawson, and Marjorie Rae, a ward councillor for Harrington, have also hit out at the referendum proposals.

Mr Lawson said: “A referendum would cost £15,000, in a time of austerity. I don’t think it’s quite appropriate.”

But Mr Stoddart claimed that the town council had monthly “banquets” in a time of austerity.

He said: “They have a party organised almost every month but I never go because I think it’s a waste of public funds.”

Mr Humes claimed that if Mr Stoddart had an issue with council expenses he should report them formally. He added that Mr Stoddart appeared to be trying to bring the council into “disrepute” and was close to breaching the town council’s code of conduct.

Councillors were also angry because Mr Stoddart had not discussed his proposals for Harrington with the Labour group.

Mrs Rae said Mr Stoddart had not approached her about the plans either, even though she is ward councillor.

“He should have come to me and said ‘I’m hearing they [the people of Harrington] want a referendum and I would have approached them,” she said.

Have your say

I think we should be asking Mr Bracken and Mr Stoddart what they are doing for their own wards before they start dabbling in Harrington? Neither of them live in Harrington, or High Harrington so what does it matter to them? We residents of Harrington do not need their interference. If they have nothing better to do with their time in their own wards then maybe they should just resign from the Council and stop trying to spend our Council Tax on their publicity stunts. Anyone who supports this ludicrous idea should ask Mr Bracken about the 'Save Our Cloffocks'referendum that he and others called for a few years ago. What purpose did that serve? wasn't that a total waste of public money? Finally, do we residents of Harrington and High Harrington really want to increase our Council Tax Bills to create yet another tier of Local Government?
Perhaps we should be putting pressure on the Councillors we already have to make sure Harrington and High Harrington is getting its fair share of the services provided by the County Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Workington Town Council.

Posted by Yet another Harrington Resident on 20 August 2012 at 22:08

@Kevin - when we find out about the lavish banquets, perhaps we can get ourselves an invite, a ticket or blag our way in and have a good night out there?

I'm up for that mate.

Posted by Derek on 15 August 2012 at 12:19

View all 16 comments on this article

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