Published: July 14, 2010
Councillor calls for re-think over Burnham boundary changes

Proposals for electoral boundary reform in the Burnham-On-Sea area would lead to electors in the area being more poorly represented at District level than before, it has been claimed this week.

Cllr Bob Filmer has written to The Local Government Boundary Commission for England, urging them to reconsider the plans to split Burnham Without into three polling districts.

While he supports the proposed slight reduction in the number of overall councillors in Sedgemoor - from 50 to 48 - he says the plans for the Burnham area need to be re-thought.

Cllr Filmer says: "The proposal is to split Burnham Without into three polling districts. To place one part in a Burnham ward, another in a Highbridge ward and to then place East Brent, Lympsham, Brent Knoll, part of Burnham Without and East Huntspill together to form a two-member ward."

"This appears to be a purely numbers-based solution. East Huntspill has no community links with any other part of the proposed new ward and is currently part of a different County Council Division and a different Parliamentary Constituency."

"From the top of this new ward to the bottom is over 12 miles by road and encompasses five separate parish councils. It is my view that this rather contrived and purely numbers-based solution will result in the electors of this area being more poorly represented at District level than before. I would therefore hope that you will reconsider your recommendations."

The Boundary Commission's draft recommendations suggest 23 wards be adopted as opposed to the 25. The deadline for the public to submit feedback about the proposals to the electroral commission is July 19th. Full details about the changes are available online here.


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