Protest in the park

A CAMPAIGN is under way to form a breakaway community council in Stotfold.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14th May 2011, 4:00 pm

Fairfield Community Action Group (FCAG) will deliver leaflets to homes in Fairfield Hall, Fairfield Park and Middlemarch next week as the move for a potential Fairfield Community Council gathers momentum.

Chairman Barrie Dack founded the organisation in April last year when his council tax bill showed how much he was paying for services and facilities in Stotfold he never uses.

Mr Dack, of Bronte Avenue, Fairfield Park, said: “Although Fairfield Park is officially part of Stotfold the two areas are separated by the A507, which forms a barrier between the two.

“At the moment Fairfield residents contribute around £100,000 a year in council tax to the running of Stotfold, a third of the Stotfold Town Council budget.

“Yet there are facilities like the recreation area in Hitchin Road and roads around Stotfold that we pay to maintain and rarely, if ever, use.”

FCAG members, including Mr Dack and fellow committee members Elaine Fox, Robin Horsley, Peter Nash and Geoff Smith will be joined by other volunteers when they undertake a leaflet drop, targeting the 1,800 homes in the area.

They will then return with a petition and need the signatures of 50 per cent of Fairfield residents – or 10 per cent of Stotfold’s electorate – to activate a formal Community Governance Review by Central Bedfordshire Council.

This would include a public consultation period and, if approved, elections could be held for the new council in May next year.

Councillor Maurice Jones, executive member for corporate resources at Central Beds Council, said: “Central Bedfordshire Council has not received a petition from the Fairfield Community Action Group, who have raised interest in creating their own parish.

“Once we receive a petition for at least ten percent of the electorate within the parish of Stotfold, then we are duty bound to begin a formal Governance Review, which must be completed within 12 months.”

Stotfold Town Council chairman Brian Collier said he will not be able to comment until he has seen all the details of the proposals.