Report from the Telegraph and Argus yesterday on Rawdon Action Group, with added comment from Brian Cleasby debating whether Rawdon needs a neighbourhood forum, or a parish council.
The advantages of the parish council are elected representatives; the advantages of a neighbourhood forum is that it can cover more than a parish, important when you are dealing across parishes eg Aireborough, and looking at total land use. The neighbourhood forum would also be dedicated to spatial planning, the parish council has more duties and would take longer to get going. The neighbourhood forum HAS to be representative of the whole community and undergo public consultation and final referendums; the parish council is not so prescriptive. However, the parish council is a tried and tested form of governance, the neighbourhood is new, and we only have the experience of lead areas such as Much Wenlock in Shropshire to learn from.
But, is it a case of one or the other? Or, can Aireborough try its neighbourhood forum, whilst still looking at the feasibility of parish councils. The important objective is that we can shape our own future, and not have it imposed on us.