I am writing about Jubilee Park and the co-option of parish councillors in Woodhall Spa.
I have watched all that has unfolded over Jubilee Park from the touchline.
At the annual Parish Meeting, I was assured that an agreement was in place to sign a lease with JPWS and I am delighted the parish council has kept to its word and duly done that.
The community stand ready to support the new Jubilee Park charity and to move the park forward.
Quite frankly, if the parish council had gone back on its word and found some reason not to sign, a good many of us, me included, would never have forgiven them.
My observation is that a good deal of the problem over Jubilee Park has been caused by the practice of the co-option of councillors onto the parish council.
We all have to bear our share of the blame for letting this happen. Unfortunately, the result is our parish council is largely comprised of co-opted councillors who
*have no mandate;
*aren’t known and don’t know people in the community;
*take decisions based on their own views as opposed to representing the community of Woodhall.
And, where this ends up is where we are now with two or three co-opted councillors taking the parish council to the brink of collapse.
Worse, and I do hope this isn’t true, is that on the evening of the parish meeting, a councillor was sat in the Indian restaurant while the community crowded into Coronation Hall to hear what was happening over Jubilee Park!
This is not acceptable. This is a show of disdain towards the community. To be clear, councillors who act like this don’t do so in my name. You don’t represent me.
Co-option has to stop. The divide in the community has to be repaired and the parish council needs to stop alienating the community.
To this end, I’ve already submitted to the Returning Officer the signatures necessary to instigate an election for all the vacancies on the council.
The Returning Officer has confirmed that the submission is valid and that the notice of election will be issued shortly.
I will do my utmost to ensure elections are held for all vacancies that arise over the next year or so.
I want to make sure we have a chance to vote for who represents us on the parish council, who they are and what they want to contribute.
I invite all those who wish to see the division in our community repaired to put their names forward for nomination at this election.