Council bids for Power of Wellbeing

PUBLISHED: 11:59 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 23:28 15 June 2010

HAVING the power to take action without being held back by restrictions is the aim of a Honiton Town Council plan to gain the Power of Wellbeing.

HAVING the power to take action without being held back by restrictions is the aim of a Honiton Town Council plan to gain the Power of Wellbeing.Councillor Vivienne Ash, acting chairman of the council, and town clerk Lyn Hargood recently attended a workshop on the subject, organised by the Devon Association of Parish Councils.A report, presented to the town council's policy committee last week, explained the power, previously only applied to principal authorities, is now available to smaller councils.If gained, it would release the council from the constraints of Section 137 rules, which limit expenditure and mean councillors cannot offer financial support to individuals.Councillors were told the power could be used to extend their grants scheme to individuals and to run Honiton's ancient street market.It could also be a useful tool in delivering economic, social and environmental developments in the town.Mrs Hargood said the council already meets two of the four criteria to gain Power of Wellbeing status and that gaining the remaining two would be achievable."I would recommend that we go ahead with the power as it would appear to bring the council a wider range of involvement in the local community," she said."It gives smaller authorities the power to do what is for the benefit of the community without the worry of restrictions."Mrs Hargood stressed, the council would still be required to consult with residents over any proposed plans.The committee supported the proposal in principle and recommended the clerk takes the next steps to meet the full criteria.


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