Council bemoans lack of invitation

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Latest politics news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Members of a parish council have claimed they have been shunned from a town steering group because of their refusal to be yes men.

At Great Cornard Parish Council’s meeting last week, members bemoaned their absence from the Sudbury Steering Group, with councillor Tony Bavington claiming the village was missing its chance to “participate and determine the direction” of the Sudbury area.

The steering group – which is made up of town, district and county councillors, as well as members of other local organisations, including the town’s chamber of commerce – has been involved in advising district and county council officers on issues in the town. These include:

l The sale of Belle Vue House by Babergh District Council

l Proposed improvements to Belle Vue junction

l The redevelopment of the town’s bus station.

Parish councillors felt they should be included as they say many of these issues directly affect Great Cornard residents.

Mr Bavington, a Labour councillor, said: “I think the steering group is composed of people who will work with a Conservative-led county council.”

Council chairman Pam White added: “They will say yes in the right places, but we probably won’t.”

In response, steering group chairman Simon Barrett dismissed the claims.

“To say that it’s about politics is a bit silly,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s a political angle – the group is right across the political spectrum.”

Mr Barrett said the group was kept small to allow progress to be made.

“If we get too many people with too many ideas, you just end up talking shop and achieving nothing.”

He added the group was set up to deal with matters in Sudbury and said neighbouring councillors would be involved if anything came up that affected them.

Great Cornard Parish Council recently agreed with the steering group over proposed changes to Belle Vue junction.