Residents urged to back campaign

PUBLISHED: 15:01 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:33 10 June 2010

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26: TOPSHAM residents are being urged to demand a greater Exeter council in the face of Topsham losing its identity, if plans for a super-sized authority are approved. 'Let's keep it local' and 'Are you a loser?' are the key messages at the heart of a hard-h

TOPSHAM residents are being urged to demand a greater Exeter council in the face of Topsham losing its identity, if plans for a super-sized authority are approved.'Let's keep it local' and 'Are you a loser?' are the key messages at the heart of a hard-hitting campaign launched last week by the Exeter City Council, aimed at safeguarding the future of the Greater Exeter area.The campaign urges local people to demand a single council to make sure the city continues to flourish and Topsham doesn't lose its identity. Exeter city councillor Mark Starling, Topsham ward, spoke out last month against the Boundary Committee's proposal for one "super-unitary" council.He said: "This (proposal) is diluting local representations and I don't think it is in the best interest of people."Topsham will have more of a say on what happens if the council is kept local."The threat to Council Tax levels and local accountability are highlighted to encourage people to speak up for the city's interests to the Boundary Committee. Last month, the Boundary Committee for England announced its draft proposal for council structures in Devon. Its proposal was for a single super-sized council to provide all local services across the county except Plymouth and Torbay. However, the second option - for a single council for the greater Exeter and Exmouth area and one for the rest of Devon, excluding Plymouth and Torbay - would mean the city could build on its success and shape its own future.City councillor Pete Edwards, chairman of the city council's local government review committee, said: "It's a call to action and we need people to respond and to stand up for the city."As part of the campaign, postcards are being sent to homes and a new website www.letskeepitlocal.co.uk gives people a range of information including how they can help the campaign. Local people and organisations have less than three weeks to give their views to the independent Boundary Committee. It will then consider responses and make its final recommendations so that the Government can make a decision early next year.To have your say - go online at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or write to Review Manager Devon, Boundary Commission for England, Trevalyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1 2HW, or call (0207) 2710512.

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