Campaign calls for villagers to have their own council

Dave White and Jacqui White of Third Row at Linton-Jacqui has started a petition to get more people from their village to stand for the council.'REF 1006130138
Dave White and Jacqui White of Third Row at Linton-Jacqui has started a petition to get more people from their village to stand for the council.'REF 1006130138

A COUPLE are seeking support for their campaign to allow village residents a greater say in how some public funds are spent.

Linton currently shares a parish council with Ellington and at the moment there is a big difference in how these areas are represented.

Following the recent council election process, there are nine people from Ellington on the authority and just three from Linton.

Now Linton residents Jacqui and Dave White are urging fellow villagers to get involved and they have launched a petition.

Their initial aim is to get more people standing for the one vacancy that is available at the moment, but a longer-term goal is to have enough residents on board to create a parish council solely for Linton.

It has suffered from deprivation since the pit closed in 1968, however the village is trying to move forward and this is being helped by some new housing developments and an influx of relatively young families into the community.

Mrs White said: “The parish council has a strong history of shaping the future of villages and is a powerful tool for raising funds to maintain and preserve village life.

“Linton is currently poorly represented on our local authority and this means the focus is on Ellington.

“When a position becomes vacant, the sitting members elect the new parish councillor and those from Ellington will naturally tend to vote for someone from their village to fill the vacancy.

“People from Linton have tried and failed to get on the authority this way in the past and we believe this has contributed to a lack of interest in standing, including at election time.

“The only chance of changing this undemocratic system at the moment is having a public election for the vacancy. Unfortunately, the rules are that the vacancy must be contested by 13 or more candidates for a public election to be justified and it looks very difficult to achieve this before the deadline of next Thursday.

“But if we get enough support from residents, we can start the process of trying to set up our own parish council.

“We think this would be a good solution, especially as Linton and Ellington have very different needs, and we have a stronger case because an influx of families have recently moved into the new housing estates in our village.

“A leaflet explaining the current position has been put through people’s doors and in recent days I have been asking villagers to sign our petition.

“We have more than 50 signatures so far with a potential for 400. The response has been very positive and hopefully the community will unite on this issue.”

She added that once the petition process has finished, the next stage could be to take it to the village’s local MP, Sir Alan Beith.

The campaign is being supported by Louise Liddiatt, who has been on Ellington and Linton Parish Council for a number of years.

She said: “The split wasn’t too bad when I joined the authority, but at the moment Linton is under represented.

“The other members don’t ignore our village because we wouldn’t allow that to happen, but ideally we could do with two or three more councillors and it would be nice if more residents put their names forward.

“If we could get our own parish council in place that would be even better, so it will be interesting to see how many people back the petition.”

The authority meets monthly, alternating between Ellington Village Hall and Library and the Linton Welfare Institute.

The petition is available to sign in Pacers Bar or call Mrs White on 01670 862098.