Parish council is on the hunt for young blood

Council: Joe Hamilton, one of the departed councillors, at the rededication of Broughton war memorial
Council: Joe Hamilton, one of the departed councillors, at the rededication of Broughton war memorial
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“We’re rather hoping to get some younger people”, said Coun Pat Hastings, chair of Broughton in Amounderness Parish Council, as she launches a drive for three new members.

“A lot of people think we’re all about 106 and I have been called the Vicar of Dibley a few times, but we’re not like that at all. We’re very active and over the years have been very successful doing the things people want us to do, but it would be nice to get some younger, dynamic people.”

The council, which has existed since 1881, is in the first tier of local government in England, with responsibilities for local services such as open spaces and play areas and carrying out improvements.

It has had success saving the village police station, stopping HGVs travelling through on the way to fracking sites, and seeing plans for bypass approved, but recently lost three out of its seven councillors, due to a city council election and two retirements. Now, in a bid to recruit new blood, an open session to discuss the role will run at Broughton Police Station in Garstang Road, on July 7 from 4pm to 6pm.

Coun Hastings added: “We can’t operate properly with only four of us. There are a lot of subcommittees and a lot more responsibilities are being passed to us now because of the Localism Act, so when there’s seven of you it’s much easier. We’ve got many more plans, such as a new conservation area, so we’re keen to speak to people interested in local issues. We’d also quite like someone who’s good with computers who can help with our website.”

To be eligible to become a parish councillor, people need to be over 18, live within three miles of the parish or have it as their main place of employment, and have a keen interest in local affairs.

Meetings are held every six weeks.