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Can a Parish Council progress with a project when the vast majority of the Parish are against it?

0 votes
My Parish is all set to spend a lot of money on a project they have decided they want done, however a recent poll of the parish voted by huge majority that they were against the idea and its impending cost!  We have asked to discuss the matter using the correct channels via the Clerk and they have refused to even discuss the matter.  Am I not right to suggest that this significantly goes against at least 1 of the Nolan Principles including  "Selflessness" - to act in the public interest?
asked by (140 points)

6 Answers

+1 vote

It's always debatable what counts as the public interest. Especially since the UK government legislated to say that the public interest is whatever the government says it is.

All the same, you should certainly be considering action. Some immediate possibilities are:

  • Start a petition
  • Requisition a parish meeting - it only takes 10 electors to demand one
  • Write to the press
  • Leaflet the parish
  • Make sure you have people lined up who are willing to stand as alternative councillors (you may need to insist on a poll if vacancies arise)
answered by (28.7k points)
We had a request with 11 signatories which we presented and were refused any kind of meeting with the PC
If there is widespread support, don't be put off by initial rebuttals. It takes time to change minds.
0 votes
Would this ‘project’ be at all good for the community or it is a vanity project?
answered by (200 points)
0 votes
It very much depends on where the funding is coming from. Most funding has to supply supporting documentation before applying for it known as community consultation Normally you will find the council consulted the community many years ago as part of a long term plan

There are deadlines for some spending where it is a case that if the council does not use the money it is lost forever and returned to building firm that supplied it.

My advice to you is to work with your council, it is better to use the money for your community then lose it altogether.  Future funding is going to be harder to get and you could miss out in a grand style especially if it’s a significant amount.
answered by (1.7k points)
No initial survey was done with regard to peoples opinions.  This is an expensive fence round a village green costing over £15k that nobody (over 90% said No) yet they refuse to hear us, or discuss the matter.
Write to them a non aggressive letter asking where the money is coming from and their reasoning for the fencing They may be trying to use funding before the lose it.

Funding regulations are very strange, it cannot be used for old projects and /or maintenance but has to be something new - can you meet them half way they may be trying to protect the green from unwanted visitors. May be low ornamental fencing with gaps In between would pacify both sides but protect the green from vehicle access
We tried this, this started last year as we had Travellers arrive for 2 days.  The only 2 days in 10 years.  We were asked to vote on the style of Fence, but there was no advertising of where the survey was and we were never asked if we actually wanted a fence at all. and no-one does, few people even knew that they were planning to do it.
You were lucky they move in in two days Sadly these type of visitors sometimes can cost a lot of money to evict and sometimes cause damage why not suggest dwarf hedging  It is all about management of expectations and costs. Most councillors are volunteers and they give up their time to make your community a better place to live it. It is a hard job at times but when they are challenged it feels like they can’t do right for doing wrong ( if that makes sense)
A traveller-proof fence? That's one for the Dragon's Den! If they want to use your village green, they will, with or without a fence. If it's a metal fence it can be unbolted and has a second-hand value. An embankment, at least three feet high is the best solution and can be sown with wild flowers for appearance. Tank traps are less aesthetically pleasing and minefields are considered incompatible with children's play!
+1 vote
As with most matters communication is of vital importance especially when amounts involved are over and above normal budget considerations. A good council would meet their obligation to seek approval from the community on such matters as thoroughly as they can and make the return of answers and opinions from the members of public easily completed and returned. They must use whatever efficient methods (websites, notices, leaflets, agenda items etc) to set out as much information to the community as possible to meet their obligations as councillors. It is immaterial whether anyone in the community responds (supports or objects) as the council has done their duty. If they do not then they cannot complain when at the next election they are brought to task by the electorate. Pre supposing that the community is not interested is not an option for a professional Parish Council
answered by (3.6k points)
+1 vote
By default, yes - assuming there aren't any breaches of legislation or illegally acquired resources.  Counterpoint's suggestion is worth following.  A Parish Poll to be considered at the Parish Meeting (or advising the PC that it would be suggested) would be worth considering too.
answered by (14.7k points)
0 votes
Can you not just keep on attending the public open session and asking the question ? Its a shame more people don't get involved all the time with Councils - democracy in Action !! . We all need something controversial to stir up interest. I truly feel sorry for the Councillors who are all volunteers and do a lot of work.

We installed a low wooden bollard type fence - so its obvious there is no use of the green. There is less than 2m between the bollards so the grounds contractor can drive through and cut the grass.
answered by (510 points)

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