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London ‘parish council’ plans gather pace   

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Campaigners in Westminster City Council are to present the borough’s leadership with evidence of strong support for the creation of London’s first ever parish-style council.

The Queen’s Park Campaign will hand a petition which comprises more than 1,500 signatures to Westminster leader Colin Barrow (Con) and chief executive Mike More.

The petition will trigger a ‘governance review’, and a further round of consultation with community groups in the area.

Campaigners said the plans for a ‘community council’ represent the first time in the London such a bid has been attempted since legal changes in 2007 made such a move possible.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) is backing the plans which campaigners said grew out of residents’ desire to protect the legacy of their elected Neighbourhood Forum, which saw its funding cut by 100% last year.

Angela Singhate, chair of the Queen’s Park forum and the campaign, said Westminster had been “supportive” of their plans. She added: “I think the council will provide a level of local government that gets a wider range of people involved in the democratic process.”

NALC chair Michael Chater, said: “NALC fully supports the wishes of Queen’s Park residents to form a community council in Westminster, London. We believe that local community councils can give local people a real voice and influence over the way their lives are run by various public services.”

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