Enhance Local Democracy

 

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Devolve more powers to the borough’s parish councils, where they are wanted and when legally possible  

A Liberal Democrat council would enhance the role of parish councils in decision-making for local residents in the parished parts of the borough. This includes giving parishes more powers where they want them and where this is legally possible, making TWBC more accountable to parishes in the planning process, involving parishes more closely in decisions that affect their communities and making it easier for smaller parishes to provide effective services. We will also look to provide parish or community councils to areas of the Borough where they do not exist if local residents wish to establish them.

Review Tunbridge Wells Agreement

with a view to devolving more power to Parish Councils where they request it. 

Proactively seek the views of each parish council

Proactively seek the views of each parish council to see what responsibilities they would like to manage and which not. This should be done in Parish Council meetings (held in public) rather than one to one with the chair/clerk.

Recognise that "one size fits all" does not work for relationships between TWBC and Town and Parish Councils.

The capabilities and aspirations of large Towns/ Parishes e.g., Southborough, Paddock Wood, and Cranbrook are different from smaller parishes e.g., Capel, Benenden, Frittenden.

Quality Parish Council Status

Support and encourage each council in the Borough to attain Quality Parish Council Status to enable the exercise of enhanced powers and promote more community engagement.