A Golden Age for Town and Parish Councils in Newcastle
Newcastle First has today announced that it will put true localism at the heart of its manifesto for the local elections in May 2011 by campaigning for a new golden age for local councils.
At the heart of the campaign is a commitment to strengthen the role of parish councils by encouraging the transfer of services from the city council, provide more funding to cover running costs and encourage the creation of more local councils.
Newcastle First believes the funding currently available to some ward committees should be transferred to local councils. Local councils are better able to make decisions about what the community needs such as funding for community groups, road and pavement repairs and provision of grit bins, as local councils are much closer to the community.
Margaret McKenna, who is standing as the Newcastle First candidate for Newbiggin Hall Ward of the Woolsington Parish Council (pictured with other Woolsington Parish Council candidates), said: “These new local people-
“Councillors in Newcastle talk about empowering the community but there are 120 town and parish councils with real power to make a difference in Northumberland and just six in Newcastle.”
Newcastle First believes its new parish tariff to fund the core running costs of the parish council will remove the disincentive for residents to establish new local councils.
Jason Smith, Leader of the Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party, said: “Residents have been discouraged from campaigning to establish new local councils because of fears about the cost of local councils. Our proposal to create a new parish tariff will remove any financial disincentives and put in place the foundations for a new golden age for town and parish councils in Newcastle.