Thornaby referendum votes to split from Stockton council

Thornaby Town Hall Image copyright Google
Image caption Thornaby Town Council bought the town hall from Stockton Council in 2012

Residents in a Teesside town have voted in favour of becoming independent from their borough council.

In a postal referendum just under 73% of voters agreed Thornaby should split from Stockton Borough Council.

The ward has a population of about 25,000, of which 17,461 were eligible to vote and 5,669 did so.

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton said residents were "clearly frustrated with Stockton Council and the way they do things".

"A lot of positive things are happening, but there is also an arrogance that neglects the views of residents in the south of the borough." he said.

'Listen carefully'

Stockton Council leader Bob Cook said residents' surveys suggested "very high satisfaction levels".

"We understand that people have strong views on specific issues and, like all local authorities, there are times when we have to make difficult decisions," he said.

The referendum is not legally binding so any changes would be dependent on the labour-controlled authority requesting the Boundary Commission carry out a review.

"On past form Stockton Council will try and block any formal boundary review but they would do well to listen carefully to the message being sent," Mr Wharton said.

The referendum has cost about £12,000 so far, the town council confirmed.

Nineteen votes were found to be invalid.

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