SLEEVES are being rolled up as people prepare to have more say on what happens to their town.
In a landmark decision, Havant Borough Council’s cabinet has approved plans to designate Emsworth as a neighbourhood area with its own local forum.
The forum is aimed at giving residents more clout when it comes to voicing opinions on planning applications and investment in the town.
The move is a first for the Havant area, which does not have parish councils like adjoining areas such as Winchester and East Hampshire.
The Emsworth Forum now has more than 270 members and is keen to increase its membership.
Lorraine Clode, pictured, the former chairwoman of Emsworth Residents’ Association and one of the founding members, said: ‘The council’s designation of the Emsworth Neighbourhood Forum marks the end of the beginning for us, and our sleeves are rolled up for what comes next.
‘Our entire focus – with input and involvement of people who live and work in Emsworth – is the creation of the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan.
‘This will take about two years and involves a lot of public and council consultation, and it will be of huge benefit to both the local community and Havant Borough Council, with whom we will be working to make it happen.’
All councillors will take a final vote on the plan at a meeting on July 23.