SOUTHAM Town Council needs a “complete overhaul”, it has been claimed this week.
Tony Bromwich – one of two recently elected district councillors for the town – believes many residents feel the council is no longer relevant.
And he says the fact only four of the 14 available seats on the authority were filled in the election on Thursday (May 7) proves just how disillusioned townspeople have become.
Currently, there are four wards in the town – Browns Bridge, Merestone, Mill Hill and Southam Fields, each with four, two, five and three town council seats respectively.
But as no other candidates stood, Coun Bromwich, Southam’s other district councillor, Andy Crump, Jason Ward and Mark Cunningham were the only four people to be elected.
As it stands, there are plans to hold another election on June 18 in a bid to fill the vacant seats.
If more than ten people come forward in the relevant wards, a contested election will be held – otherwise those nominated will automatically join the existing four members.
But Coun Bromwich feels there could be a struggle to find even ten candidates willing to put their hat in the ring.
Speaking to The Observer, he said: “Campaigning on the doorstep a lot of people were questioning why we need a town council.
“There is a lot of disillusionment with the way it has been run for the past decade or so.
“One of the biggest problems, I believe, is that there are too many councillors and the fact we haven’t had a contested election for around 20 years shows that.”
Whatever happens at the upcoming election, Coun Bromwich says the new council needs to work hard to re-engage townspeople in local issues.
He added: “The town council has become detached over a number of years but now we have an opportunity to make a new one that represents what the people of Southam want.
“What it needs is a complete overhaul so it can be made more relevant to the people in the town. It’s also about encouraging younger people to take an interest whether that be through working with Southam College or in local schools.
“We want people to care enough to want to have their say and I believe it’s up to the members of the new council – however many of us there are – to ensure Southam becomes proud of its town council again so the authority continues long into the future.”
Nominations for the upcoming election must be submitted to Stratford District Council by 4pm next Thursday (May 21).