September 27th, 2016

Campaign launched to get Stoke Heath out of parish area

Campaign launched to get Stoke Heath out of parish area Campaign launched to get Stoke Heath out of parish area
Updated: 4:50 pm, Sep 16, 2016

A GROUP OF Stoke Heath residents have launched a campaign for the area to leave the parish council’s jurisdiction.

Residents claim that, despite the precept they pay each year rising from £14.66 in 2005 to £31.53 in 2016, they received ‘next to no investment or attention from the council.’

Stuart Neal said: “I do not want to pay yet more money to a council for services which I do not receive.

“Apart from two flower boxes which are not really maintained, Stoke Heath has seen no value whatsoever for what must be over £200,000 of taxes collected by the Parish.”

Another resident Alan Baylis said the idea of Stoke Heath estate being made a parish was ‘badly thought through.’

He said the area is nothing more than a ‘modern estate with one small play area, no schools, shops or community area.’

Former member Maryna Walker who resigned from Stoke Parish Council said she left because ‘it was an ineffective council that did not serve the parish.’

She added: “The politics and infighting on the council, for me, reached an unbearable level. I do not live in Stoke Heath but I can sympathise with the people who want out. Most of the money – and there was a lot saved in the reserves – went into Stoke Prior and the other areas, not to Stoke Heath.”

Coun Michael Thompson said residents were opposed to being part of the parish because only 17 per cent or people voted to be part of it.

“When I was elected I promised to be a voice for the people of Stoke Heath, who I represent within Rock Hill ward.

“If it is the democratic will of the residents to leave the parish that is their right and I will support that.”

But the vice-chairman of Stoke Parish Council John Ellis hit back saying: “Stoke Heath Recreation Ground has had more money invested in it than any other facility in the parish.

“We have upgraded the play area and put an outdoor gym there and most of the people using it come from Stoke Heath.

“We have also offered to create another recreation area on a patch of ground in Stoke Heath but they declined the offer.

“People should also be asking what Bromsgrove District Council does for them – apart from emptying their bins.”

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said 280 signatures were needed from residents on the electoral roll for a review to take place, and a possible referendum for the people of Stoke Heath to vote on whether they want to become an ‘unparished’ area.

Email to express an opinion on the matter or find out more about signing the petition