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29.05.12

Residents vote for Queen’s Park parish council

The first parish council inLondonfor fifty years is set to be established in Queen’s Park. A referendum held by Westminster Council saw 1,100 residents vote in favour of a new community council, on a turnout of around 20% of eligible voters.

The creation of the parish council is expected to be formally approved by Westminster Council on June 25.

Parish councils were abolished from London in 1963, but a law in 2007 restored the power for boroughs to establish their own parish council.

The Queen’s Park Forum, which has campaigned for the new council over the past year, plans to levy a precept on council tax bills of £3.30 – £3.70 per month, to cover an office and two members of staff.

The Queen's Park parish council is expected to undertake responsibility for a range of activities including coordinating community events, befriending the elderly, supporting young people and the unemployed, local management of Queen's Park gardens, and launching local allotments.

The deputy leader for Westminster City Council, Cllr Robert Davis, said: “I am delighted that the residents of Queen's Park have given a clear endorsement to the proposal for the community council. For Westminster to have the first parish council in London for 50 years would be a fitting endorsement of the government's ambitions for localism and neighbourhood engagement.”

Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), Cllr Michael Chater OBE said: “Queen’s Park has spoken and residents want a new community council. As champions for local democracy and community action we’ve been pleased to support this campaign and to help local residents fight for a parish council.”

Angela Singhate, of the Queen’s Park Forum, said: “This result shows that ordinary Londoners do want to work together to make a difference where they live.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

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