A parish divided

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THE majority of an estate’s residents do not feel part of their parish according to the results of a survey.

Greatham Parish Council sent out 500 surveys to residents of South Fens to gauge what community facilities people access in the village.

Almost half of all households canvassed responded but most said they never went to the village.

Some said they would use facilities if they were advertised better.

South Fens is part of Greatham ward but it is divided by the A689 dual carriageway.

A Greatham Parish Council spokesman said: “We had a response of nearly 50 per cent which is pretty good.

“From the response we got, close enough to 80 per cent never crossed the road.

“I’m not really surprised, but it is disappointing.

“It is a problem we are going to have to address and look at.”

The survey asked South Fens residents what facilities in Greatham they use such as pubs, the post office, schools and community centre, and how often.

South Fens estate was built in the Parish of Greatham and remains part of the parish and all the local facilities are located in the village.

A share of South Fens householders’ council tax goes towards the upkeep of facilities supported by Greatham Parish Council ranging from £2.50 to £7.70 a year.

The survey was also organised in the light of a town-wide review of council ward boundaries being carried out by the Boundary Commission.

One proposal could see Greatham included in the same ward as Elwick and South Fens become part of another urban ward.

The spokesman added: “The survey has done its job and showed the problems we have got to try and tackle.

“It is now a stalemate until after the elections.”