WITH some members striving for independence, Calne Without Parish Council will host a meeting on Thursday night to discuss a potential new parish council for Derry Hill and Studley.

The meeting is to take place at Calne Town Hall at 7.30pm.

Derry Hill and Studley are currently served by Calne Without Parish Council and six of the 15 councillors serve the villages.

Cllr Ioan Rees has been campaigning for the change and set up the meeting as he attempts to persuade Wiltshire Council to agree to his proposal.

He said: "The current Calne Without Parish Council is just far too big at this point. I think some of the resdients in Derry Hill and Studley feel underrepresented.

"We've been canvassing houses and of the 760 people spoken to, only 30 of them did not want to sign the petition.

"People have not taken much persuading to get on board with the idea. It has certainly resonated with people from the villages.

"Both villages have seen large housing developments so we believe it is time the area has its own council."

Mr Rees also predicts the formation of a new council would cost an extra £5 per house every year in council tax.

In the event a new council is formed, by-elections would be held to fill the places. A clerk would also be hired.

Wiltshire Council's Electoral Review Committee will decide by 2021 whether to create a separate parish council for Derry Hill and Studley through a process called a Community Governance Review. They received the petition of 672 signatures at the end of September and validated the petition as being being signed by sufficient number of voters.

Jim Cook, vice-chairman of Calne Without Parish Council said: "I don't know if people on the council are opposed to the proposal or not at this point.

"I think most councillors are keen to see the arguments that both sides put forward in order to make their decision."