Broadland opts against parachuting in two of its members to revive Salhouse Parish Council

PUBLISHED: 06:30 19 September 2012

Stephen Heard, of Snub, who was recently elected onto Salhouse Parish Council. Photo: Bill Smith

Stephen Heard, of Snub, who was recently elected onto Salhouse Parish Council. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

Councillors last night decided against parachuting in two of their members to revive a parish council unable to meet and make decisions.

Seven members of Salhouse Parish Council resigned en masse last month following tensions between them and the Stop Norwich Urbanisation (Snub) campaign group.

The authority now has just three members - one short of being able to operate.

And Broadland District Council last night turned down the opportunity to make an order to add Wroxham councillors Steve Buckle and Ben McGilvray to the Salhouse authority to help kick-start it.

Instead, Salhouse will have to wait until the result of a by-election on September 27 before they return to the required minimum of four members.

Snub’s Richard Williams will be up against Christopher Dady in the by-election triggered by the July resignation of parish councillor David Hastings.

Mr Williams addressed last night’s meeting and said Salhouse had faced an “intolerable” workload, with consultation after consultation from Broadland. He said parish councils were a “very fragile framework on which to load localism” and it is “cracking”.

He added: “I hear Rackheath is the latest.”

Andrew Proctor, Broadland council leader, told full council: “This is an unusual situation even given comments made this evening about what happens in Rackheath and Salhouse, I hope this doesn’t proliferate in other parts of the district.

“I would suggest the council doesn’t make the order.”

One ongoing issue affecting Salhouse is the joint core strategy, a document which outlines how 37,000 properties could be built in the Norwich area.

Parts of this document were not adopted after it was successfully challenged by Snub in the High Court, leading to Broadland having to provide further evidence for their proposals.

Mr McGilvray, Wroxham Liberal Democrat, said: “I am fully in accordance with what councillor Proctor has said. In light of Mr Williams’ comments earlier during public speaking, I am sure the officers will no doubt give their full support to the parish council, bearing in mind we have an unusually low number of members and workload is quite high.

“If they do have any concerns or request any help, the officers I’m sure the officers will give their usual prompt sign-posting or help themselves.”

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