Council Admits It Made Mistakes

PUBLISHED: 15:15 07 June 2011

It is a matter of real sadness to me that the sustained strident criticism of the council - some of which has become highly personal - has resulted in several dedicated and conscientious former councilors declining to stand for office this time around.

AS most people are aware a small group of Sutton residents have set up a website

www.suttonvoice.org . The website calls for ‘a parish council that is open; listens to all residents opinions; is transparent and open’. As chairman of this council I concur with these aims, albeit I happen to believe that they are achievable through the existing tried and tested structure of the parish council.

The previous council - of which I was a member - undoubtedly made a few mistakes. But I don’t know of any council, or business, or family, or individual that does not make mistakes from time to time. With the benefit of hindsight it is easy to be critical about this decision or that decision, but I can categorically assure all Sutton parishioners that at all times the council acted with integrity and made decisions in good faith based on the known facts at the time.

It is regrettable that grant monies that the council anticipated receiving failed to materialise and this is the largest single factor behind the precept increase. The council is determined to bring costs back into line with income and on our latest agenda gives a clear indication that decisive action is already being taken in this respect.

It is a matter of real sadness to me that the sustained strident criticism of the council - some of which has become highly personal - has resulted in several dedicated and conscientious former councilors declining to stand for office this time around. As a direct consequence of this, scheduled meetings have not gone ahead and council business has been delayed.

The facilities we enjoy at Sutton are the envy of many similar sized villages - or even some small towns. Facilities cost money and the challenge going forward is for a right balance to be struck between what we may want compared to what can sensibly be afforded. I would appeal to residents who have genuine interest in the village and its facilities and who care about all of its residents to join the council and become properly involved in the democratic process. Surely this is the positive and constructive way to move things forward.

GORDON FOSTER

Chairman, Sutton Parish Council.

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