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VISION: Trevor Sokell is among those leading the charge for a village council in Bookham REKS20131305D-058_C Photo by Kevin Shaw
The proposal of a third-tier of local government for the village has recently created a stir among residents, with many taking to online forums to discuss the potential pros and cons of the idea.
A group has now been officially formed to present the scheme and engage with residents over the proposal, under the name Beam (Be Ambitious) For Bookham.
Trevor Sokell, who will head the group, told the Advertiser a Bookham village council would help residents to “take our future into our own hands” and create a council for the 21st century.
“Bookham’s residents have to decide how we will deal with ever greater threats to service and facilities we have long taken for granted,” he said.
“We believe that, once Bookham voters have seen the challenges the future holds, and then understood the strong advantages a village council offers in facing them, they will decide in favour.
“The Government’s localism agenda actively encourages the establishment of local councils and enables people to take more control over their own community.”
The aim is to provide Mole Valley District Council with evidence of sufficient interest among the electorate to start a Community Governance Review.
A parish council would be paid for through a precept of about £50 per household, which would be used to pay for a full-time clerk and activities throughout the community.
Parish councils, such as those in neighbouring Effingham and Brockham, differ from residents’ associations as members would be elected.
Mr Sokell added: “We believe the people of Bookham are more than capable of taking charge of their own destiny instead of relying on others to do so.
“Over the next weeks and months, Beam for Bookham will be setting out the case to establish a modern village council, which has the community at the centre of its aims and objectives.
“Beam For Bookham will promote a debate about the creation of a new local council and hope you will join the debate, decide your view and let us know the result.”
This is the second time in the last 20 years that this suggestion has been raised, the last time being in 1994 when it was rejected, mainly due to the increase in council tax.
To find out more about the proposals, or to be kept up to date, e-mail info@bookhamvillage. com