'Neglected' Dalton town council sets its own course
A FEUD threatens to divide communities after it was claimed a local authority has "neglected" the interests of a town.
Four hundred houses could be built in Dalton after being set out by Barrow Borough Council's blueprint for future growth - the local plan.
This move has been heaped with scorn by Dalton Town Council, which has voted unanimously to create its own neighbourhood plan, to have a greater say over the area's future.
Dalton town councillor Liz Colver, who represents the Anty-Cross and Newton ward, said: "We wanted to give the people of Dalton more say in the housing and infrastructure, rather than having it imposed on them by the council.
"We are aware there is already a local plan going through to the inspector; we can't do much about that but this is for the future."
A neighbourhood plan would help Daltonians shape how their town grows in the coming years. It grants them power under the 2011 Localism Act to help shape development and infrastructure in local communities.
Cllr Colver said there had been a growing frustration among councillors and townsfolk that the needs of Dalton were being persistently overlooked by their larger neighbour.
The source of greatest frustration was over the volume of houses set out in the local plan to be built over the next decade.
Cllr Colver said: "400 over the next 15 years - we think that is too many.
"There isn't a loud enough voice being made on the borough council, we feel neglected and our voice is not being listened to. We want to remain Dalton, not being joined up with Barrow."
The local plan is a document created by the borough council outlining to central government its plan for growth over a 15-year period.
Leader of the borough council, Councillor Dave Pidduck, said the news was unfortunate but conceded that hard decisions had to be made when defining the future of the borough.
He said: "Dalton has always been different to Barrow, however, the Dalton councillors that sit on Barrow Borough Council have equal representation; they do represent Dalton and do it very well.
"Difficult decisions have to be made for 15 years down the line. I have admiration for our officers who worked very hard to put together the local plan. It's not an easy job and takes a long time."
He added: "When I talk about the borough, it's about all the borough, not just Barrow. What we achieve, we will do so by working together."
Dalton Town Council will hold a mini-consultation for residents to have their say on any future neighbourhood plan.
Volunteers gathering information for any future neighbourhood plan will be in Market Street, Dalton, between 11.30am-1pm on Friday 15 and Saturday September 16, and 4pm-5.30pm on Friday September 22.