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Council could re-launch meetings with community
8:50am Tuesday 18th September 2012 in Ledbury
LEDBURY Town Council is considering a pilot meeting to re-launch regular contact between the public, police and the local authority but this time they want local people setting the agenda.
The town’s old PACT meetings (Partners and Communities Together) petered out several years ago, but now town councillors are keen to launch a new round of PACT sessions, or something very similar.
Several town councillors believe the old meetings were led too much by Herefordshire Council, and they want to see a greater lead from the Ledbury community, this time round.
At a meeting last week in Ledbury’s Market House, Coun Paul Winter said: “Herefordshire Council wanted to set the agenda.
At the end, it wasn’t really about local issues and Ledbury.”
Coun Annette Crowe, a former PACT panel member said: “Bringing back PACT is a hobby horse of mine.
Herefordshire Council did take over the meetings, to tell us about what they were doing. But these should be meetings for local residents, where they can put their views forward, and the new meetings need not even be called PACT.
“Let’s liaise with the police and get this off the ground.”
Coun Crowe pointed out that while local people might be reluctant to phone they police, they might raise concerns at a meeting, such as over the ongoing littering and noise problems on the recreation ground.
She said of the old PACT meetings: “I was on the panel for 18 months, and we always had a good attendance.”
Coun Winter said: “There is definitely a need. But are we going to get people actively involved?”
One idea, discussed by by the town councillors, to to promote the meetings on Facebook and Twitter.
Coun Crowe said: “We need to be proactive to get the message out there.”
Former Ledbury Mayor, Coun Allen Conway offered to look into the setting up of a pilot meeting, perhaps intially only between key players such the town council and the police, and to determine exactly how revived PACT meetings in Ledbury would work.
Coun Conway said he would speak to longstanding PACT panel members, such those on the Bromyard group, and report back to the town council about how things operate there.
But speaking of the proposed new Ledbury group, Cllr Crowe stressed: “It should be run by us.”
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