Whitehall Gives Village A Boost

The village of Crossways has been given parish status by the Department of the Environment.

The decision been made by Secretary of State, Mr Tom King, based on the Local Government Boundary Commission's proposals following their consideration of West Dorset District Council's parish review.

There were no objections to the proposals.

The new Crossways Parish, said Mr King, which will have its own Parish Council, should come into being at the earliest possible opportunity, at the latest on April 1 next year.

The parish is created from parts of Woodsford, Owermoigne, Watercombe, Warmwell and West Knighton.

The parish of Watercombe is abolished and its residential area merged with Owermoigne. Part of the Parish of Woodsford has been transferred to the Parish of West Knighton.

News of the new parish was greeted with delight by residents.

Said Mr Eric Blackwell, of 23, Dick O' Th' Banks Road, Crossways, who is a member of nearby Knightsford Parish Council, which covers part of Crossways: "This is wonderful news. We have been fighting for a separate parish for the village for many, many years."

He added that it had been impossible in the past for decisions to be made for the Crossways area but now it would be possible with the creation of a new parish council.

Said Mr Vic Myers, of 29, Binghams Road, Crossways, a member of Owermoigne Parish Council: "I am absolutely delighted. This is something which the residents' association for Crossways has been plugging for since 1976."

Mr Myers added that Crossways, having been divided into five separate areas, had been left out in the cold in the past.

"If Owermoigne Parish Council, for example, wanted to do something, particularly a planning application, for the whole of Crossways, we had to get agreement from the other four parishes. Luckily, this will not be necessary in the future."

Another Crossways man who welcomed Mr King's decision is Mr John Hayfield, chairman of Crossways Residents Association, who lives at 2, Green Lane.

Commenting that he was "quite delighted" with the news, Mr Hayfield added that the aim defined by the association's constitution, which was formed in 1975, was to seek the establishment of the area as a separate parish with its own parish council. This has now come to fruition.

Mr Hayfiled stressed that although there was no subscription, every resident of Crossways aged 18 and over was eligible to join the association.

Twenty years ago Crossways had a handful of houses and bungalows and a population of about 300. Today, with new private and council estates, the population is approaching 1,500.

Story by Leslie Mace
Source : Dorset Evening Echo - March 11, 1983

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