Stradbroke: Parish council is “broken” according to councillor in his blog

Stradbroke village sign.

Stradbroke village sign.

A councillor has claimed his parish authority is “broken” as it has “failed completely” to take action about the things that really matter in the village.

Stradbroke councillor James Hargrave has launched a strong attack on the parish council he sits on, calling for fellow councillors to “stand down” to make way for people who “do care” about the village.

The 42-year-old published the more than 700-word piece on his blog. He said: “Over the past year the council has failed completely to take effective action about the things that really matter in the village. It has sat and done nothing whilst the only general shop closed and into this vacuum a group of villagers have stepped (in) who are thankfully trying to do something about this.

“Into this vacuum should come the parish council to provide some leadership. Even organising a public meeting for Spar the shop leaseholders to tell us their plans has been done by this group rather than the council.”

Parish council chairman Nick Stones said he would not comment directly on Mr Hargrave’s blog.

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He said: “I have been on the parish council for nearly 20 years – quite a lot of time being chairman and I am very proud of what we have achieved in those years.”

Mr Hargrave also criticised the council for “doing nothing” to prevent the closure of the village post office.

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But Mr Stones said the council was “actively supporting” the proposals to move the post office to the village’s library.

Several towns and villages in Mid Suffolk have been examining whether they should begin work to create a Neighbourhood Plan which would give residents a greater say in what gets built. But Mr Hargrave claimed councillors had said the plan would be “too much” work to be possible in Stradbroke.

Mr Stones said: “There’s a lot of people looking at this, it would be a huge amount of work involved. In the past it has been the expense which has put (people) off.”

The council is to hold a meeting with Mid Suffolk District Council over the plans.

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