Laura Sharman 17 July 2015

Residents vote to abolish Brierley Town Council

Residents vote to abolish Brierley Town Council image

Residents have voted in favour of scrapping a town council in south Yorkshire, after its town clerk was jailed for fraud and theft in 2013.

Janet Cooper was jailed for eight years for fraudulent activity, which forced Brierley Town Council to take out £1.3m in loans to deal with the financial implications of the crime.

A vote on the future of the council has now resulted in 983 residents saying it should be scrapped, with only 202 votes for keeping it.

The motion will now be considered by Barnsley Council on 30 July, who must decide if it will fund services currently paid for by the parish precept at a cost of £157,000 per year.

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, said: ‘Only Barnsley Council can take a decision on this issue but the people of Brierley and Grimethorpe have spoken. I’ll be taking a motion to full council on 30 July recommending that our officers work with Brierley Town Council to produce a report with a strategy, key actions and timetable for the abolition of the town council and civil parish. I expect that this will go to full council in September 2015.’

It’s now or never for modern democracy image

It’s now or never for modern democracy

The electoral landscape is now ‘more crowded than ever’, while council resources have been ground down, says Laura Lock – and she warns that professionals do not have limitless capacity.
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