War Memorial Gary Trouton

Letter to the Editor

March 2011

Peter comments on the problems, as he sees them, of the local Parish Council

Dear Ray,

I couldn't help but notice the Stoke Ferry Parish Council appears to have a difficulty recruiting to its ranks and has a staggeringly high turnover of elected officers. There are obviously a few underlying problems here.

I attended two parish council meetings when I arrived in the village a decade ago, (having just stood down from 14 years as councillor and 12 as chairman, on a nearby PC) I never bothered any more after that as it struck me that the ethos of the Stoke Ferry PC at that time was not something I could work with. I fear nothing has changed in the past decade, and few, if any, lessons have been learned.

If you look at the officially posted figures and /or do the sums yourself you get the following per capita local league spending table.

Stoke Ferry spends £12.65 on each parishioner.

Northwold spends £15.88 on each parishioner

W .Dereham spends £16.82 on each parishioner.

Can you see a pattern there.??? I have always equated running a council to running a business, if it is under-funded, understaffed or under-motivated, the end result is usually a poor quality product or service.

Is it just me or does that ring a bell?

I noticed in the PC minutes there are constant references to asking 'someone else' to do things for the parish...well increase the precept a few percentage points and do it yourself; simple enough, and in my experience it gets things done far better, far quicker, and usually quite a bit cheaper. Further if you allow councillors to feel they are contributing on a month by month basis, you may well find you have a highly motivated group of people sitting round the table when you meet.

Just a thought.

Peter Bodle

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