New name signals fresh intent for Clare council

IT may appear to be a case of little more than swapping one word for another, but the decision by Clare Parish Council to change its name to Clare Town Council is in fact a statement of intent.

Parish councillors agreed to change the authority’s status at their annual meeting earlier this month in order to add more clout to what they are striving to do in promoting and developing a stronger community.

The switch comes as the council reveals a four-year development plan, one which will see it attempt to “sustain a thriving yet traditional town, improve the infrastructure, support community involvement and protect and enhance the environment and amenities”.

Town council chairman Keith Haisman said: “What this is really about is saying we’ve come a long way in the last few years in organising ourselves to take a greater control of our own destiny in Clare.

“There are things we want to make sure we deliver on as a council and building on the Clare Community Plan we have extended that to include the town council and what we want to influence.”

Typical of the added responsibilities taken on in recent times by the council is its ongoing negotiations with Suffolk County Council over the future management of Clare Castle Country Park.

“Becoming a town council sets out our aspirations to be in greater control of our own destiny and to organise ourselves in a more structured and professional manner,” said Mr Haisman.

“We hope we will be taken more seriously when we write to the county or borough council or the Government.

“We feel we are sufficiently significant as a town, we are the third largest conurbation (Clare is classed as a key service centre to 8,000 people because of the amenities it provides to the town and outlying villages) in St Edmundsbury and we pay the third largest precept.”

Becoming a town council carries no extra financial burdens or responsibilities, added Mr Haisman, and all that was required was for parish councillors to agree a resolution to change the name.

GREATER CONTROL: Clare Town Council chairman Keith Haisman said the authority has come a long way.