Small majority vote in favour of forming new council with Roundswell.

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PEOPLE living in Bickington have voted marginally in favour of forming a breakaway parish council with folk in Roundswell.

The doorstep survey carried out by Roundswell Residents’ Association found that 61 per cent of those asked were in favour of breaking ties with Fremington Parish Council, while 39 per cent opposed the idea.

A total of 766 households were polled from a possible 1,000.

Last month a similar survey in Roundswell found an overwhelming 96 per cent of those who replied were in favour of forming a stand-alone council.

Residents’ association chairman Graham Turner said that although the general consensus in Bickington was one of support, he had expected the proposal would be met with less enthusiasm than in Roundswell.

He said: “There are more elderly people living in Bickington and many of those were possibly opposed to Roundswell being built in the first place.

“I think Roundswell might be better off on its own as we may have a really big fight on our hands with Fremington Parish Council if we try to take Bickington from them as well.

“But we’ll have to wait and see what happens now; we have submitted both sets of results to North Devon Council and hopefully in the next few months they will be able to give us a decision on whether or not they plan to press ahead with our request for a boundary change.”

Mr Turner said too much money was being spent on administration costs for Fremington Parish Council and that Roundswell was being neglected, with not enough upkeep of play areas and public spaces.

He said money now being spent in the area – in particular at the playing fields at Tews Lane – was too little, too late.

“It’s very good but this is something we wanted five years ago. We still want to go it alone so we can take all the jobs in-house and do them ourselves.

“We are determined to make this happen and are not going to be put off this time.”

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