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By Anthony Carroll
Friday, August 19, 2011
TO some it’s a village, to others it’s a suburb, and some consider it just part of Lowestoft.
But from now on, people in Carlton Colville can describe themselves as “townsfolk”.
In a sign of how the growing community is spreading its wings, it can now stand alongside its Waveney neighbours Lowestoft, Southwold, Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth after being officially granted town status.
Following a meeting on August 1, Carlton Colville Parish Colville was transformed into Carlton Colville Town Council after its request to change was ratified by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC).
The new-look council will have the same powers as before but it has decided against creating a post of mayor, as other town councils have done. Although it gains no extra funding, councillors hope that by securing town council status it will raise Carlton Colville’s profile and draw in fresh grants and community schemes.
The first town council chairman is Terry Fleet, the previous parish council chairman.
Mr Fleet, 71, told the Journal: “In a way absolutely nothing will change. We are still bound by the same regulations, code of conduct and financial monitoring and responsibility. They will remain the same. But I think being a town council will give us more leverage when applying for funds and should raise our profile across Suffolk.”
He said the council opted against having a mayor as chains of office and other mayoral items were very costly.
Describing the reasons behind the town council move, Mr Fleet said: “Years ago Carlton Colville used to be much smaller and have a small population. But over the years it has grown and changed and it is now very urban and has very different needs and feel. Many people here now have no experience of village life at all.
“Also some people did confuse the parish council with the work of church parochial council.”
The community, which has an electorate of 6,200, is the 22nd in Suffolk to have a town council. The others vary from Bury St Edmunds with an electorate of 30,751 to Southwold which has 1,009 people on its electoral role.
The chief executive of SALC, Shona Bendix, said parish councils tended to apply for town council status because of the way they were perceived, their size or their population, or how active they were.
Welcoming Carlton Colville’s move, Ms Bendix said: “I think it is a really good thing. It reflects how they feel about themselves and how active they are in the community. It also reflects where they are going in the future.
“I hope the townsfolk of Carlton Colville will welcome their town council.”
The town council’s first meeting is on Wednesday, September 21. It has 12 members but only nine posts are currently filled.
l Anyone interested in becoming a councillor can contact the clerk on 01502 588569 or email email@example.com
l What do you think to Carlton Colville’s move? Send your views to Postbox, The Journal, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email firstname.lastname@example.org including your name and address.