A PETITION has been launched by a community group to look into the possibility of creating a town council for Newton-le-Willows.

The Newton and Earlestown Community Group (NECG) is seeking signatures so it can ask St Helens Council for a community governance review on establishing Newton-le-Willows Town Council.

It says this will enable residents of the area to make an "informed decision" on whether it is something they would want.

The town council would cover the Newton and Earlestown ward areas of the borough and have the same status and duties as a parish council.

The area would remain as part of the St Helens Metropolitan Borough.

Since 1974, the former Newton-le-Willows urban district has been part of the borough, with Newton and Earlestown each returning three councillors to the local authority.

"Lots of people often comment on how they wish Newton-le-Willows could have its own council again, since being abolished in the 1970s," said NECG chairperson Marie Ablitt.

"However, nobody has done anything about it. NECG want to give the public that choice.

"The cost of us having a town council would mean that 80 per cent of people would pay 75p a week or less as part of their council tax to fund the council which would provide a large budget to spend on local priorities.

"As government austerity means that the council has no choice but to cut local services such as libraries, crossing patrols and park rangers, a town council could give us the opportunity to make local decisions on what we'd like to save or protect."

Marie added: "We also intend on holding some public events in the near future and can share the dates when they're set.

"Lots of local places have parish or town councils such as Birchwood, Winwick, Rainford, Billinge, Eccleston, Rainhill, Prescot and they have used them to save their town halls or provide local services.

"It's important to state that this petition is a legal requirement to ask St Helens Council to give us the information we need to make a decision. So if you support the idea of getting more information, please sign the petition."

View the petition online at necg.weebly.com/nlw-proposed-town-council.html

There are also hard copies in Newton Community Centre, Crumpets Cafe, on Market Street, Earlestown and The Pharmacy at Newton Cottage Hospital.