Council aims for quality status

PUBLISHED: 11:22 06 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:45 10 June 2010

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6: BUDLEIGH Salterton councillors will soon have more say over what happens in the town now the members have voted in favour of Quality Council status. At the moment, when members sit around the council table their comments about planning applications are ma

BUDLEIGH Salterton councillors will soon have more say over what happens in the town now the members have voted in favour of Quality Council status.At the moment, when members sit around the council table their comments about planning applications are made on an advisory basis - with the district council reaching final decisions.Quality Council status allows members to play a greater role in the community.The move means the town's members will decide if tree work can be carried out in Budleigh's conservation areas and if shop front signage changes can be made within the town.At the moment, both decisions are made at East Devon District Council.Budleigh Salterton Town Council clerk Jo Vanstone passed council administration exams in August - one of the required criteria a council needs to achieve Quality status.Earlier this year a number of the town's councillors voiced fears about the proposed change.Concerns that members were under-qualified to make final decisions without the backing of the district council were raised.When the public was asked if the town council should aim for Quality status, many residents reacted positively.Budleigh Salterton mayor Councillor Chris Kitson said the council would be putting together its application now everyone was on board.Cllr Kitson said: "It's good for the town. It means we are working in a professional way. "It will be good for the town in the future because, with the changes to local government, it means we will be competent to take on other responsibilities.

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