MORE members are desperately needed by Blackbird Leys Parish Council to prevent it being shut down.
The parish councillors are elected representatives who volunteer to meet regularly to discuss issues of concern for the residents of the Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys estates.
The council has space for 14 members, but currently only eight seats are filled.
The six vacancies include three councillors from Northfield Brook ward and three from Blackbird Leys ward.
If the number of councillors drops to five, there will no longer be a quorum, and the council will have to disband.
Chairman Gordon Roper is concerned that the group has been made up of the same people for too long, and that if any choose to step down the council will be in danger.
He said: “We’re getting too old – everybody’s getting on a bit.
“It’s quite worrying. If we can’t get some of the youngsters to come on with fresh ideas and help out the community we may not make it.”
Mr Roper, 75, who now lives in Garsington but still has family on the Leys, said: “We need more people.
“We want younger people to come, with different views, and shake things up a bit.
“It’s always been the same.
“The only time we had a full complement is when there were city councillors on the team, which we don’t do any more.
“Considering how many people there are on the estates and how much we do for the estates, I’m surprised there’s so few people involved.”
In February 2012, the parish council reduced its official numbers from 16 to 14 as it struggled to get new people interested in the role.
In 2007, former chairman Brian Lester resigned because of “apathy,” but returned to the council after three years, saying he had more to give to the community.
He said: “People still think that the parish council means it’s something to do with the church, which it’s not.
“It’s a real shame that people are reluctant to participate.”
Mr Lester, 66, said he understood why people did not get involved, but said they should make the effort.
He added “People work hard during the day, they come home, shut the door, and they can’t be bothered.”
The Pegasus Road resident added: “It’s about two hours a month when you have to attend meetings.
“There’s so much that could be done if we had a full complement.
“I believe that people on the estates are missing a golden opportunity to get involved.
“We’re pursuing a better lifestyle for the residents of the estates.”
He agreed with former chairman Gerry Webb, who said in 2010: “We have got a lot of ethnic groups on the estate and I would like to see representatives from them supporting the community.”
Official nominations for Thursday’s elections have closed, but new members could be co-opted with “no problem”.
Parish council meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month at 7pm in the Blackbird Leys Community Centre in Blackbird Leys Road.
For more information, contact the parish clerk on 07754 271831 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our top stories:
9:00am Wednesday 28th January 2015
THE amount of compensation claimed by Oxfordshire drivers for pothole damage more than doubled in two years.
6:45pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
SNOW is no longer expected to hit the majority of the county tomorrow morning.
5:52pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
Travellers left the Waitrose site in Botley Road today after being handed a 24-hour eviction notice.
5:49pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
THE jury in the trial of Jake Blakeley will continue considering its verdict on Tuesday.
4:30pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
THERE are delays of up to 40 minutes on rail services between Oxford, Worcester and Hereford this afternoon due to a person being hit by a train between Moreton-in-Marsh and Kingham.
1:19pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
Tesco Metro in Bicester will close on April 4.
12:43pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
TWENTY-seven people died in traffic collisions across the county last year.
12:00pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
THE three remaining cooling towers at the former Didcot A power station will be demolished in 2016, according to energy company RWE npower.
11:51am Wednesday 28th January 2015
A MAN is in hospital after he was cut across the face by a stranger, police said.
8:30am Wednesday 28th January 2015
A HORSE and carriage funeral procession made its way through the streets of Oxford yesterday as a great grandfather made his final journey.
7:10am Wednesday 28th January 2015
SENIOR councillors of Oxfordshire’s biggest authority have supported calls for a debate on creating one ‘super authority’ for the county.
Oxfordshire ambulance services accused of "playing god" and "putting lives at risk" in new drug trial
9:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015
CARDIAC arrest patients could be given a salt solution instead of adrenaline as part of a new medical trial in Oxfordshire.
7:48pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE first phase of the £60 million redevelopment of Oxford University’s Iffley Road sports facilities could be completed by July 2016.
7:30pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
STAFF at a funeral directors said they have been inundated with messages of support after a devastating blaze caused an estimated £100,000 worth of damage.