The people of Sutton Coldfield are another step nearer securing a referendum on seizing local powers after presenting a petition of 10,000 names to Birmingham City Council.
Campaigners joined local councillors to hand over a box of names to Labour Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore.
Rather than separate the Royal Town from Birmingham, the proposed town council would operate at a level below the city council.
Conservative councillors are worried that people will feel let down when they are landed with an extra council tax bill for a glorified parish council. But supporters insist it has the potential to deliver genuine devolved power to the residents.
Conservative councillor Lyn Collin (Sutton Vesey) asked Sir Albert to confirm what powers, over and above the current Sutton Coldfield District Committee, would be given to the new directly elected town council.
But Sir Albert said he was unable to give campaigners any assurances.
Sir Albert said: “The matters around a potential town council have not yet been discussed.”
Under the current legislation, the campaigners must now negotiate with the city council over the set up of a town council which must then be put to the people in a referendum.
Some campaigners are seeking planning powers and the ability to limit housing and industrial development on the green belt and garden grabbing.
Campaign group chairman Ken Rushton said he hopes that all political parties would come together on the project. “It was a good day for Sutton,” he added. Petitioner, Coun Rob Pocock (Lab, Sutton Vesey) said: “Today marks a historic milestone in Sutton’s 40 years journey in recovering some of the independence and self-determination surrendered when it was swallowed by Birmingham in 1974.
He welcomed the attendance of Sutton Coldfield Conservative district leader Anne Underwood at the petition handover.
He said: “This gives hope to the possibility that we might now start building a cross-party consensus.”