Queen’s Hills could break away from town authority by March
- Credit: Archant © 2012
A Costessey housing estate's bid for independence could be secured by March, according to a report.
Queen's Hills Residents Association (QHRA) submitted a petition to South Norfolk Council calling for the estate to pull away from Costessey Town Council and have its own parish council.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said the residents had a 'strong case' for wanting to go it alone but district and town councillors have argued the areas are stronger together.
Now council papers, ahead of an electorial arrangements review committee on Thursday, have revealed the rough timescale for the review and possible change.
The document says South Norfolk Council, who will be carrying out the review, 'will look at all options' when considering the switch.
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It is expected to start on August 7, with draft proposals published in November and a consultation period, thought to be held in a local venue, ending by January 11, 2016.
It is expected a final decision will be made by the end of March.
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The committee papers read: 'The council wishes to ensure that electors should be able to identify clearly with the parish in which they are resident.
'It considers that this sense of identity and community lends strength and legitimacy to the parish structure, creates a common interest in parish affairs, encourages participation in elections to the parish council, leads to representatives and accountable government, engenders visionary leadership and generates a strong, inclusive community with a sense of civic values, responsibility and pride.'
It goes on: 'The council is anxious to balance carefully the considerations of changes that have happened over time, through population shifts or additional development for example, and that have led to a different community identity with historic traditions in its area.'
Signatures from 10pc of the local population were needed to trigger a community governance review, and around 250 people had signed the petition.
While the number of signatures is well below 10pc of the total population of Costessey, QHRA is arguing that the total need only be 10pc of the population of Queen's Hills.
There are 2,191 electors in Queen's Hills, meaning it would need 10 councillors if independence is granted.
Both district and Costessey town councillors voiced dismay at the move at a meeting at the Costessey Centre earlier this month.
If you want to submit a written representation for review, write to Electoral Services, South Norfolk House, Swan Lane, Long Stratton, Norfolk, NR15 2XE or email email@example.com
Do you have a story about the Costessey area? Email firstname.lastname@example.org