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Vote to take place over Kidderminster parish
7:00am Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
THE dream of parish status for Kidderminster could become a reality as new localism laws have made the process easier.
District councils have been given the right to grant parish status, injecting a new lease of life into the campaign for a town council.
Kidderminster borough was abolished under local government reorganisation in 1974 but maintained traditions such as appointing a mayor through a board of charter trustees.
The campaign means that only 10 per cent of residents will need to vote yes to the change for Wyre Forest District Council to consider creating a Kidderminster parish.
The petition is being launched his month and will run until November 23.
If 10 per cent is achieved, the district council will begin a year-long consultation process which could see a town council come into being in April 2014.
Town clerk Charles Talbot said: “We need to create a vehicle which the town can drive into the future. If Kidderminster hasn’t got a car it’s not making any journeys.”
The charter trustee body consists of district councillors who automatically serve as members. But under a town council arrangement, there could be additional elections.
A town council is estimated as likely to cost an extra 5p per household per year. It can only be granted if the parish is deemed to have general competence which means that at least two-thirds of councillors must be elected and that the town clerk must have four qualifications which are called certificates of competence.
Mr Talbot said: “Kidderminster is becoming a tourist attraction with the Severn Valley Railway, West Midland Safari Park, beautiful surrounding countryside and the Museum of Carpet.
“With people comes demand for quality and we’ve got to be ready.”
Forty thousand residents in Kidderminster will receive the petition by post with a self-addressed stamped envelope to post back their vote.