8th Dec, 2016

War of words breaks out at parish council meeting

Stratford Editorial 22nd Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A WAR of words broke out at a meeting of Studley Parish Council this week.

At the heard of the issue was a report circulated by district councillor Justin Kerridge in which he suggested that, as the council was looking to improve the way it runs things, it might be worth making an appointment to visit Alcester Town Council to see how they perform.

He praised that council’s committee system and its ability to delegate decision making over matters such as planning, meaning the full council only had to meet once a month – Studley meets fortnightly.

He further praised Alcester’s support for ‘arms length organisations’ and its active involvement in promoting business and commerce in the town.

He then praised Studley’s new parish plan before adding that the parish council could actively do more to facilitate change in the village.

However his comments provoked a furious reaction from parish councillors.

The village has had to deal with the closure of its fire station, police station, both banks and more recently Studley Medical Centre as well as major traffic problems – issues the parish has been at the forefront of combating.

“We are not Alcester!” responded Coun Maureen Rickhards. “Alcester does not have the A435 running through it for a start and this parish council supports virtually every group in the village,” she added.

“We support groups with aid applications we are actively involved with Studley Stports and Social Club, with the Brickyard Lane recreation ground, the nature reserve, we support the library, Studley in Bloom, countless organisations.

“Alcester runs a very good Health and Well-being scheme, and we would like to do something similar.

“However Alcester was chosen as a pilot project and when we applied for grants to run something similar we do not get them. It is not a level playing field.”

District councillor Hazel Wright added: “You cannot say Alcester Town Council is well run – you only have to look at the Greig Hall – Alcester has poured thousands into it while our village hall didn’t cost us a penny.”