Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Town and parishes to get councils

Ballot box
Election dates for the new councils have yet to be set

Parts of Cornwall are to get town and parish councils for the first time.

St Austell is to get a town council and there will also be three new parish councils in the surrounding St Austell Bay, Carlyon and Pentewan Valley areas.

It is hoped that the new councils, to start when a new unitary authority for Cornwall begins on 1 April 2009, will give local people a stronger voice.

Cornwall Council will replace the county's six district authorities and the county council.

'Truly local'

Steve Foster from Restormel Borough Council, one of the district councils which will be replaced by the unitary authority, said: "With Restormel going, it's unthinkable to not to have a truly local voice in a unitary situation".

He added that it would be particularly important for St Austell because of the town's ongoing regeneration.

He said: "It's very important to have a local voice to help oversee that".

Martin Eddy, from the changeover monitoring group One Cornwall, said: "St Austell will be a very big town council and have a major say in what's going on in the area.

"Some people may question why there is a need for another layer, but it is important to have that layer to give people that voice."

The new town and parish councils will need 200,000 a year for funding.

Election dates have yet to be confirmed.

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