Local MP, Rory Stewart, has expressed his delight after Penrith
residents have voted by a margin of two to one for the setup of their
own local town council. The Penrith and the Border MP, who has
campaigned strongly for greater localism, especially within his role
as the Chair of the APPG for Local Democracy, has been a key supporter
of the campaign from the outset, and helped distribute thousands of
leaflets within the town, promoting the benefits of a council that
would focus solely on the needs of Penrith.

After receiving a petition signed by over 1500 local residents, Eden
District Council organised a postal ballot which was sent out to over
12,000 residents of the town eligible to vote. In a turnout of 41 per
cent. which is significantly above average for ballots on community
governance, 65 per cent responded positively to the proposal for the
town’s own democratically elected council. A local review group will
present their findings formally to Eden District Council on 18th
September, where if formally ratified, the necessary arrangements will
be set in place for the first town council elections in May next year.

Rory Stewart said:

“This is absolutely fantastic news for Penrith. Local residents have
voted resoundingly in favour of more local democracy, giving them
greater control over the future of their town, and the way in which
local services are run. It is at this level where people know more,
care more, and can do more, and it is why I firmly believe we need to
continue devolving power away from central government and back into
the hands of local communities, to allow them to realise their own

From May onwards, Penrith residents will be able to decide for
themselves what they value most and how the town should prioritise its
time, energy and resources – be it on housing, our high streets, or
preserving our small, market town character – to ensure Penrith
remains somewhere both wonderful and distinctive.”

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