NESTON residents have expressed an interest in setting up their own town council.
Any community governed by a borough council can establish its own town council or, in rural areas, parish council to serve the interests of local people.
But the scheme, which has the tentative support of borough chiefs, has its pros and cons:
A town council can contribute toward the provision of leisure facilities, village halls, allotments, cemeteries, seating and shelters, public toilets, litter bins, lighting and many other facilities and services. It is also consulted about any development proposed in its area.
For a town council to contribute to these facilities, it has to raise money by levying an additional charge on the Council Tax. This ensures the people in the town council area who benefit from the additional facilities are the ones who pay for them.
There are no town councils in Ellesmere Port and Neston, just one parish council in Ince.
The residents of Ince pay an extra £26 Council Tax on an average Band D property, giving the parish council an annual budget of £1,750. Most of this is spent on maintenance of a playing field, the salary of the parish clerk and other expenses.
Larger towns, such as Winsford, are able to raise more money.
Winsford employs four full-time staff and spends the money on things such as providing free school milk for children, maintaining two recreation grounds, concessionary travel and Christmas lights.
To set up a town council, a petition has to be collected, which sets out the area it should cover.
The petition must be signed by at least 250 people who are eligible to vote or 10% of the electorate in the proposed town council area, whichever is the greater.
The petition must be delivered to the borough council, which must send it on to the Government with the council and residents' views.
After further consultation, the Government minister concerned will decide whether or not to establish a town council.
Borough council leader Reg Chrimes said: 'Our policy is to be supportive of town and parish councils where the public is in favour.'