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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Town council left short of members after election

A TOWN council has had a radical overhaul after all but one member left the council.

Grange Town Council still has five places vacant on its nine-seat board following the parish election last month.

Only town mayor, Councillor Tom Harvey, choose to contest his seat and remain on the council.

A total of three new residents were elected to the council – Liz Lewis, Frank McCall and Nick Thorne.

Cllr Harvey, who also represents Grange on South Lakeland District Council, said it was coincidence that the former councillors had chosen to move on for different reasons.

He told the Evening Mail: “There were some very experienced and longstanding people on the town council but for various different reasons they chose to stand down at the same time.

“Many were involved in other organisations and groups in Grange that they wanted to concentrate on.”

Cllr Harvey, who took on the role of mayor for the second year running following the exodus of elected members, added that few people had decided to stand in their place. He said: “Perhaps that’s because not many people knew about it, or those that did didn’t know how to get involved. It’s going to take a few months for everyone to settle in, but perhaps it will bring fresh ideas and a new approach to Grange Town Council.”

Another four people are expected to be co-opted onto Grange Town Council at its next meeting on June 13, leaving one seat unfilled.

Councillor Bill Wearing, who served on Grange Town Council for 35 years, said there was a huge amount of volunteer work carried out in the town.

But he urged more residents to donate some spare time for the good of Grange.

He said: “David Cameron started talking about the Big Society last year but Grange has been doing it for the past 20 years. That’s why I was a bit surprised more people didn’t stand for the town council in the election.”

Cllr Wearing retired from Grange Town Council to concentrate on his role as the chairman of Cumbria County Council’s health and scrutiny committee.

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