Plans for a new parish council to be set up in Heysham are being discussed.
Heysham currently has a neighbourhood council, which is limited in what it can do due to lacks of funds, and any money it does have is raised from events, such as the Viking Festival and Car Show.
The only funding Lancaster City Council contributes is a small grant which pays towards the upkeep of the village toilets, and this has
recently been cut by 50 per cent and is only enough to keep the toilets open for half the year.
Becoming a parish council would enable Heysham to do more for the benefit of the community.
An initial budget has been worked out to pay for
improving the toilets and keeping them open all year, a dog control officer, an anti-social behaviour officer, and a ‘lengthsman’ to take on and manage tasks around the
village such as weed control.
These would be in addition to the services Heysham currently gets from the city council. A new parish council may also decide to prioritise its money into different areas.
Any new parish council would cover the area of Heysham from Fairfield Road in the north to the far side of Heysham Golf Club in the south.
The Morecambe to Heysham railway line would be the approximate boundary to the east.
Current neighbourhood council chairman Peter Whaley said: “The main aim of Heysham Neighbourhood Council is to gain parish status, it’s in the constitution. The Heysham wards are the only ones that are not parished.
“The misconception is that Heysham is just Heysham village, but it’s a very big area and a parish council would represent all of it.”
If Heysham residents decide to have a parish council, a small supplement would be added to council tax bills.
Based on a Band D property, this would be an estimated 37p per week.
Between now and May, residents in Heysham will be canvassed on their views about a parish council.
If there is a favourable response, a new Heysham Parish Council will be created and would replace the neighbourhood council.
Parish council elections would take place on the same day as city council elections in 2019, when Heysham residents would have the chance to decide who they want to represent them on their newly formed council. Parish councillors are not paid, they are volunteers elected by residents, and anyone can apply to be a candidate.
Keep up to date with all the news about the plans at heyshamonline.co.uk