COUNCILLORS have warned against Wellington Town Council going out ‘touting for business’ from neighbouring parishes.

The town council is taking on a range of extra services as part of the fallout of Somerset Council’s widely-publicised financial emergency.

And there has been talk about the town council offering to help other parishes in the area such as Sampford Arundel, West Buckland, and Langford Budville with services, at a cost, such as the cutting of grass verges.

But members of the town council’s policy and resources committee were not too keen just yet on actively seeking the extra work.

Cllr John Thorne said: “I do not think we should be offering services to neighbouring parish councils, but we should instead be receptive to requests.

“I do not think we should be going out actually saying to parish councils that we can do their grass cutting for them.

“We are here for Wellington and that should be our main priority.”

Cllr Keith Wheatley said: “This is going to be a very fluid situation.

“We have to be neighbourly and co-operative, but we are in year one and we need to make sure we are okay here in Wellington and not putting too much on our staff by getting them to sort out the problems of other parishes, not wishing to sound mean-minded.”

Cllr Andrew Govier said: “We have to focus on Wellington.

“We have got to get the services right for us and then it is up to the neighbouring councils to make contact if they want to buy into us.”

Wellington mayor Cllr Marcus Barr felt the council should be doing more to help its neighbours from the outset and be ready for when the new financial year began at the start of April.

Cllr Barr said: “We just do not know what is going to come down the road (from Somerset Council) but we need to be up and running from April 1.

“We are in this together and we need to help our neighbours.

“People from the neighbouring parishes come into Wellington, they shop in Wellington, and they use Wellington services.

“We need to start putting the building blocks in place for April 1.”

Cllr Justin Cole said the town council had ‘very little’ in terms of revenue streams and so carrying out work for other parishes would be an opportunity to ‘make some money’.

He said, tongue-in-cheek, that the extra workload would be a ‘problem’ for town clerk Dave Farrow to sort out.

Cllr Cole said: “Dave is taking us on this journey and we shall evolve with it.”

Cllr Kieran Canham said: “We need to be in a position to be able to manage the services we provide for Wellington residents before we go out touting ourselves to provide services for other parishes.”

Mr Farrow said: “We need to walk before we can run.”

Wellington has already received a request from Sampford Arundel Parish Council, which said it would be interested in buying services from its larger neighbour.