Swale council has only received 104 responses to its consultation about new parish councils
Only 104 people in the whole borough have had their say about the possible creation of new parish and town councils.
Swale council’s head of corporate strategy and communications Louise Matthews gave an update on the community governance review consultation at the Sheppey Local Engagement Forum (LEF) meeting in Leysdown last Tuesday.
The document looks at arrangements for existing councils and also focuses on unparished areas, which on the Island are Halfway and Sheerness.
A new parish or town council could be created, existing ones could expand to include the areas which are unparished or there could be no change.
Residents – which at the last census in 2011 totalled 135,800 in Swale – are being asked to have their say on how they think they should be represented at local level.
The consultation finishes on Tuesday and once the feedback has been collated, a report will be presented to councillors on how to take the review forward.
There will then be another consultation in the early part of next year and households in affected areas will be balloted if there are any specific changes proposed.
Swale must make a decision before June 19, 2014.
Cllr Steve Worrall asked what the cost of the parish council precept might be for taxpayers if any new ones were formed.
He was told it would be down to the new council to set it, but as an example a band D property at the lowest level pays £13 a year and the highest is £62 so it would be likely to be somewhere between the two.
Cllr Worrall also asked about the level of feedback there has been to the consultation and was told around 104 people have responded, the majority of which are from Halfway.
The issue of Sheppey having its own council was again suggested and the meeting heard that if this was put forward officially and had enough support, it would be discussed and considered.