MALVERN’S new mayor hopes to build bridges and help improve relations between the town and district councils.

Julian Roskams, who is a member of both councils, feels they have “drifted apart” and that tensions have arisen because of recent high profile issues including wheelie bins and the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

Town councillors were frustrated recently when the district council turned down a request to address the audience at Malvern’s annual town meeting about the new wheelie bins, which are now being used for recycling collections across the district.

Meanwhile district council officer Ivor Pumfrey has an ongoing complaint against town councillor Mike Charles concerning comments he made about the same matter at a public meeting.

The “tricky” relationship between the two organisations was flagged up by district councillor John Raine during a discussion about a drive for more partnership working.

He said: “Now we are committed to partnerships can I suggest that we attend to the relationship (with the town council) in a much more constructive and positive way.

“It has been a long story of groans, moans and difficulties.

There is no reason why it should be a tricky relationship.”

Coun Roskams believes the recent high-profile issues have caused the relationship to be perceived as worse than it actually is, but feels there are issues to be addressed.

“I think there have been one or two really big issues that the town council has done a lot of work on and that some members feel perhaps they have not been listened to,” he said.

“The two councils have perhaps somewhat drifted apart.

“There is a liaison group at the top level but I think there should be a lot more interaction all the way down. Hopefully that is something I am fairly well placed to promote.”

He added that the two have worked together on some very successful projects – including the ongoing Route to the Hills scheme.

District council chief executive Chris Bocock said relationships with town and parish councils are “extremely important”.

“I think sometimes there has been an overemphasis on the difficulties, when there has been an awful lot of good work that has gone on with the town council,” he said.

“I would say the quality of the relationship is really good. But as with anything