Village divided: West Adderbury seeks independence
A group of villagers are hoping to set up a separate Parish Council for West Adderbury
From today villagers in Adderbury are being consulted on whether the village should be split into two separate entities, divided by the Sor Brook. The consultation follows a formal request for a review by a group calling themselves the West Adderbury Residents Association.
The proposal, if accepted, would see West Adderbury able to elect its own Parish Council and no longer be under the control of the current Parish Council. Those in East Adderbury and Twyford would continue to come under the control of the existing Aderbury Parish Council.
The West Adderbury Residents Association feel they are not represented by the current Parish Council. They say, “East Adderbury and Twyford are three times larger than West Adderbury. This means that West Adderbury will always lose out to the majority in surveys, polls, elections and Parish Council Decisions. On far too many issues, West Adderbury has very different needs, interests and views to our larger neighbours. This means that the current Parish Council is forced to make decisions in the interest of the majority and we are left without an effective voice.
“Adderbury Parish Council has become very divided, with councillors from West Adderbury increasingly coming into conflict with those from East Adderbury and Twyford”.
Not all West Adderbury residents agree. Ann Lyons is an existing Parish Councillor and West Adderbury resident. In a letter published on the Adderbury Parish Council Facebook page Mrs Lyons says, “I am one of the four current Parish Councillors who happen to live in West Adderbury. I have a rather old fashioned view that I was elected to represent Adderbury as a whole, and not just selected parts of the village. I found the timing of the request for a Governance Review appalling, this country is in the midst of the worst crisis since the Second World War and this small group thought it was appropriate to take this action.
“I say small group and that is what it is, on their own figures they state they have two hundred members out of a possible seven hundred and fifty. How does that give them the right to state that they speak on behalf of West Adderbury?”.
Villagers in all parts of Adderbury and Twyford will now receive consultation letters as Cherwell District Council begins a Governance Review and looks into the proposal. The review will run from Monday 29 June until Friday 28 August. Every household in the village will receive a letter but people can respond individually rather than as a household if they prefer.
Councillor George Reynolds, deputy leader of the council and chairman of the Governance Review working group, said: “It is really important that parish council arrangements reflect local residents’ needs and identities, so we want to capture the full spectrum of opinion in Adderbury.
“Several people have already made their views known to us informally. But to help shape our recommendations to the council in the most balanced and transparent way, it is vital that they also respond via this formal consultation process.
“I would urge everybody who lives in Adderbury to have their say on the idea of having two separate parish councils.”
The results of the consultation will feed into the working group’s recommendations to full council. A second round of consultation will be carried out in November and the Governance Review will be completed by February 2021.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam