RESIDENTS have launched a petition calling for three councils to merge in a bid to create a “stronger voice” for an area.

Debbie Burrows, from Manningtree, has launched an online petition asking for Tendring Council to undertake a Community Governance Review for the ward of Lawford, Manningtree and Mistley to have only one local council, instead of three.

The 50-year-old said: “Remember this isn’t about Mistley, Manningtree or Lawford losing its identity.

“Tendring Council already sees the three parishes as one when looking at planning applications.

“Nothing will change apart from getting a more effective and financially strong council enabling good things to happen in all three parishes.”

Ms Burrows needs to collect 672 signatures in order to get Tendring Council to review the petition.

Andy Baker, from Lawford, will join Ms Burrows this afternoon at Manningtree’s Christmas Market today with paper forms of the petition.

The petition calls for the merge of the three councils and the reduction in the number of councillors from 33 to a smaller number.

The 57-year-old former Lawford councillor said: “I think having one voice and a strong voice is the most positive part of combining the three councils.

“This is because what happens on the edges of Mistley affects the edges of Lawford and Manningtree.

“One council will have a stronger voice and might be taken more seriously.”

He added: “My view is that is makes far more sense to have one council at one ward.

“Lawford, Mistley and Manningtree are seen as one ward for the district, so why do we have three councils?”

A spokesman for Tendring Council said there was a formal process to follow to launch a Community Governance Review upon receipt of a valid petition.

“We will follow this process should a Community Governance Review be triggered in this way, which for the area concerned would require at least 500 signatures with names and addresses,” he added.

“We value the opportunity for dialogue with town and parish councils on community governance matters so we can share an understanding of what such a review entails before it begins.”

To see the petition visit