over 'misguided' proposals to split up local council boundaries
town councillor has this week expressed his shock at "misguided"
proposals to split up the boundary lines between council seats
across the Burnham-On-Sea area.
Chris Williams, pictured, told Burnham-On-Sea.com that the proposals
from the Boundary Committee for England and Wales have not been
said: "I want to register my complete disbelief on the initial
proposals of the Boundary Committee for England for Sedgemoor."
a logical and time-consuming response from the Town Council based
on 'factors of community cohesion', the Committee have proposed
splitting Highbridge so that all areas south of the River Brue
are allocated to the district seat of the Huntspills and naming
the seat Burnham South."
added: "The Boundary Committee has also failed to appreciate
that the housing developments in the Wallace Wells Road, Cookson
Close and Mulholland Park areas fall directly within the 'urban'
remit of Burnham and Highbridge. Under the current proposals these
areas within the parish of Burnham Without would become part of
the District Seat of Mark and Wedmore."
can reassure all residents of Highbridge that as an independent
town councillor for Highbridge these completely misguided suggestions
will be opposed as strongly as possible."
present, the redrafting of boundaries looks more like a number
crunching exercise and drawing of lines on maps without any first
had visits to the communites involved."
Electoral Commission spokesman Gareth Nicholson told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"The Committee has made no proposals for redrawing ward boundaries
in Burnham-On-Sea. The Committee is carrying out an electoral
review of Sedgemoor District Council. The first stage of that
process began on 26 October 2009. That stage is a public consultation
where we ask local residents, town and parish councils, businesses,
and the District Council, to tell us what their council should
look like. Our role is to set the number of councillors who sit
on the authority and the number and boundaries of the council's
is a real consultation. We ask people to submit proposals backed
up with evidence to us. We then consider those proposals. That
stage concluded on 18 January. Our work now is to look at all
the evidence with which we've been provided and draw up a set
of draft recommendations on what the council size and division
boundaries should be. Once those draft recommendations have been
drawn up, in late Spring, we'll publish them and run further consultation
so people can comment on the proposals and make them as good as
they can be. Once that process has concluded, we publish final
recommendations and make an Order in Parliament to implement the
carry out electoral reviews to set local boundary arrangements
that are fair and provide for electoral equality. It's important
to have fair local boundaries that ensure that each councillor
represents around the same number of people. At the moment in
Sedgemoor, that's not the case. For example, Sandford ward has
56% more electors per councillor than the average in Sedgemoor,
whereas Huntspill & Pawlett has 16% fewer."