Sutton Parish Council is back in business

A PARISH council forced to suspend its operation last week due to a lack of councillors is back in business - but there is still disquiet about its increased spending plans.

Two new temporary members of Sutton Parish Council have been appointed, making the parish council six-strong, and large enough to legally make decisions.

Former councillors, Philip Martin and Graham Redman have agreed to return on a temporary basis - and now residents have just a couple of weeks to call for an election.

Back in May, five councillors were originally elected unopposed - but one resigned almost immediately, leaving the council too small to operate.

The row over the parish council’s finances still goes on. The council increased its precept by 27 per cent this year, and a protest petition of nearly 1,000 signatures was handed over to MP Stephen Barclay and the Secretary of State Eric Pickles.

A public meeting has been called for Tuesday June 7 at 7.30pm in the Brooklands Centre; a group of residents is still pushing for a reduction in parish spending.

Resident Gitta Evans is one of the organisers of the meeting. She said: “I would encourage villagers to call for an election, so we can get some new people on the council.”

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“We have set up a web site so people have a voice,” she added. “Parishioners need to be more enlightened and informed about what is going on.”

She says the public meeting is calling for a parish council that is “open, listens to all residents opinions; is transparent and publicly accountable.”

Villagers have until June 15 to write to East Cambridgeshire District Council to call for an election - 10 people need to ask for an election, or the seats will be filled through co-opting.

Clerk to Sutton Parish Council, Rosie Seymour, told the Ely Standard: “The district council has made an order under Section 91 of the Local Government Act 1972, because following the resignation of a newly elected councillor, another member was needed. They have appointed two people. We have now advertised the notice of vacancy.”

A meeting due to be held on Saturday June 4 by East Cambridgeshire District Council, to discuss a new vision for Sutton, has been postponed.

The residents’ website; Gitta Evans can be contacted on 01353776231.